The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
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History and Administration

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THE University of Michigan, as we know it today, was established in 1837 as the result of the interest of the early settlers in education and of an implied provision in the first constitution of the state undertaking to safeguard the administration of the federal lands given during territorial days "for the support of a university." The idea of a state system of education had already been clearly embodied in an earlier institution founded in Detroit in 1817, the Catholepistemiad of Michigania, and the University actually organized twenty years later was its spiritual, as well as corporate, successor. But neither in 1817 nor in 1837 did the educational programs thus formulated arise spontaneously out of the social consciousness of the pioneer communities in territorial Michigan. They were rather the result of a long evolution in political philosophy and educational ideals, conceptions slowly developed in Europe, modified and adapted under the fire of the American ideal of individual freedom and in the crucible of the Revolution.

The principle of state support for education had long been recognized both in America and in Europe, although in early days the universities received their support from various sources. Greece and Rome had maintained systems of public education in some form, and in the Middle Ages Charlemagne provided free schools and accorded special privileges to the cities of Pavia, Paris, and Bologna, which subsequently became the seats of great universities. Oxford and Cambridge under royal patronage received a considerable degree of public support, while as early as 1575, the great university at Leyden was established by the Dutch Republic. Two hundred years later the ideas of Rousseau and Pestalozzi were producing the ferment which eventually gave rise to systems of public education in France and Prussia.

Nevertheless, although such institutions received some degree of state support and were therefore less subject to religious domination, most European universities exhibited a strongly clerical complexion. This precedent led almost inevitably to a sectarian bias in the first colonial institutions, especially since the governments of most of the Colonies tended to be theocracies — at least, the government and education were more or less under the control of the established church in each colony. Thus, a combination of religious and secular influences not only affected the character of America's first colleges, but also had a profound effect upon the whole development of higher education. To this dual influence we may ascribe the delayed arrival of what has come to be the characteristically American state university system.

Today we are accustomed to think of Harvard, the first college established in America outside of the Spanish colonies, as a privately endowed institution, yet it received most of its early support from public funds. The first appropriation, made in 1636, amounted altogether to £800, of which the first installment of £400 equaled a tax of half a dollar upon every one of the four thousand inhabitants of Massachusetts; subsequently, other monies, including the income from a ferry between Boston and Charleston, were devoted to the support of Harvard College. In addition to making these grants and levying an annual tax for the Page  4college, the Massachusetts legislature also exercised certain prerogatives, such as that of determining the situation of the college and the college buildings. It also appointed an officer to take charge of the institution at state expense, and when he proved unsatisfactory it put him on trial and appointed his successor. Thus early was the principle of public support and responsibility in educational matters recognized in America (C. K. Adams, p. 370).

Similarly the general assembly of Virginia provided in 1660 that "there be land taken upon purchases for a Colledge and free schoole" (Thwing, p. 51), but the institution thus inaugurated did not receive a royal charter until 1693, when it became the College of William and Mary, with final responsibility for its control resting with the Anglican Church. A distinctly American tradition first arose in Yale College, established in 1701; the founders, with one exception, were graduates of Harvard who felt the need of an institution of learning in Connecticut. They were, moreover, critical of a growing spirit of religious tolerance at Harvard, where the direct power of the church in the government was meeting with increasing opposition. After long agitation the Connecticut assembly granted a charter and provided financial support for an institution "wherein youth … may be fitted for public employment, both in the church and the civil state."

The fourth colonial college, Princeton, then and until 1896 called the College of New Jersey, was chartered in 1747 as a center for the education of Presbyterian ministers, although the Society of Friends and the Anglican Church were also represented upon its board of twenty-three trustees. Both Yale and Princeton were strongly evangelical and were destined to be leaders in the missionary movement which later resulted in a great number of church schools in the territory west of the Alleghenies.

In King's College, New York, established in 1754, later to become Columbia University, control by the Anglican Church predominated, although the colonial government and other non-Anglican church bodies were represented on the board. Yet, though more liberal than most of its contemporaries, "only in a very restricted sense" could it be considered a state institution. An advertisement of its first president stated that "there is no intention to impose on the Scholars the peculiar tenets of any particular Sect of Christians" (Tewksbury, p. 116).* Strong opposition to the royal charter, to the offer of land by Trinity Church, and to the giving of public funds to an institution dominated by the church, resulted in opposition which led to a division between the college and the city of the proceeds of lotteries held for the college.

It is evident that since church and state were so closely associated for a long period, these early institutions, despite their public support, were essentially clerical in outlook, concerned with the education of religious leaders or with providing a religious training for the future teachers, lawyers, and doctors in the Colonies. Only in the institution destined to become the University of Pennsylvania, established in 1749 under the inspiration of Benjamin Franklin, when he organized a board to take over a charitable school founded in 1740, was the emphasis more secular than religious. Its ideal was set forth a year after its chartering in 1755 as "the College and Academy of Philadelphia," as follows: "To lay such a general foundation in all Page  5the branches of literature, as may enable youth to perfect themselves in those particular parts to which their business or genius may afterward lead them" (Tewksbury, p. 140). Nothing was said about religious education, though the Bible was named as an important textbook.

Yet, despite this church influence, inescapable in that period, the educational programs established in the Colonies must be considered progressive and liberal. The men who founded them were, for the most part, well educated in the best traditions of the English universities of the time. One hundred graduates of Oxford and Cambridge were numbered among those who came to America before 1640, and these leaders established well-recognized standards of education. Nevertheless, the English universities still retained a limited and narrow medieval outlook in government and curricula, and therefore the new institutions across the ocean welcomed the opportunity to introduce more liberal educational policies. While such changes as were made were far from radical, the first colleges in the Colonies, in spite of their lack of resources, were in advance of Oxford and Cambridge in more direct and less cumbersome methods of administration and in somewhat broader curricula (Thwing, Chap. I).

Almost from the first there was a recognition of some degree of responsibility on the part of the colonial governmental bodies toward education — even though colored by the particular sectarian point of view favored — Congregational in the case of Harvard and Yale, Church of England in William and Mary and King's College, and Presbyterian in Princeton. But, as the functions of church and state tended to separate, the support of education gradually came to be left with the church — so much so that just before the Revolution education had come to be largely under control of the churches, and such public support as existed was incidental.

As a result, we have come to think of these early colleges as privately endowed and as sectarian institutions. John Harvard's gift of 260 books has overshadowed the far greater support given by the commonwealth. As a matter of fact, it was not until after the General Court had "located the College at Newtown, now Cambridge, … that the project engaged the sympathy of John Harvard." The thread of public support, however, was woven deeply into the texture of colonial administration, and it only required such a period of intellectual turmoil and innovation as the Revolution represented to bring once more to the surface the conception of state systems of education.

Throughout the whole colonial period the variation in the American colleges from the parent English institutions in methods of control and support as well as, to some extent, in curricula, became apparent. The English universities were governed under cumbersome systems; in Oxford the control was vested in four separate bodies. Harvard simplified this practice by setting up a board of overseers in 1642, and eight years later, incorporated the college, giving final authority to the corporation and the board of overseers — the system still followed. Harvard thus created the first corporate body in Massachusetts. Yale was governed by a single board, as were most of the other earlier institutions.

The curricula in the American institutions, while in general following age-old precedents, were characterized by the absence of theology as a separate and distinct subject and by the inclusion of new subjects, particularly the sciences. President Thwing even suggests (p. 115) that sports and play, at least in the University of Pennsylvania, were not forgotten. Page  6He further remarks that despite the crudeness and lack of resources the contrast was, "it may as well be said at once, … to the advantage of the … institutions of the New World."

This slowly developing American spirit in education made the eighteenth century, in the late Chancellor Elmer Ellsworth Brown's words, a period of "fluctuation and experiment resulting in a mixed and complicated system of control." He said further:

Out of this confusion, we shall see the simple type of organization known as the close corporation rising into prominence. The type was dominant for some years previous to the American Revolution, and for two or three generations thereafter. It was framed in accordance with models found in the industrial world and in the world of commerce, and it provided for effective business management. But it did not provide equally well for the responsibility of educational institutions to the public which they served. The public became dissatisfied with institutions of this sort, and after a good deal of bungling experimentation, began the establishment of universities under unmixed state control.

(Brown, p. 2.)

While sectarianism in education had been developing in America, a somewhat different system of state education was gradually evolving in Germany, as well as in France under the influence of the encyclopedists, which culminated in the Napoleonic administrative reforms. This movement was influenced in its early stages by the events in the New World, just as the later developments in European state educational systems had profound effects in America. It was the liberal political philosophy of the American Revolution that gave the first definite formulation of the principle of nonsectarian education, supported and governed by public agencies, the impulse that led directly to the state university system.

The change in the pattern of thought which the Revolution brought about was profound. Political rather than religious questions occupied men's minds. Moreover, the liberalism of the contemporary French thinkers challenged church doctrines. Free thought and various degrees of agnosticism were everywhere, even in the colleges, during the immediate post-Revolutionary period. One Virginia contemporary, Bishop Meade, wrote: "Infidelity was rife in the state and the College of William and Mary was regarded as the hotbed of French politics and religion" (Tewksbury, p. 60), while Lyman Beecher, in his Autobiography (I: 43), said: "Yale College was in a most ungodly state. The college church was almost extinct."

This spirit was a reflection of contemporary political liberalism and of the acceptance of the principle of the separation of church and state. It was almost inevitable, too, that there should be not only an increasing emphasis on higher education in the states in process of organization, but also a growing recognition of the desirability of public control of education. A certain degree of popular support had existed almost from the first days, but new winds of political doctrine were blowing and the passing of the intimate association of church and state made possible the fifty-year effort toward state support of institutions of higher learning which was finally to achieve recognized success in the establishment of the University of Michigan.

It is abundantly evident that the social and economic development of the new nation was not sufficiently advanced at first to make immediately effective the liberal program in education advanced by Jefferson and other leaders, although his ideas of a liberal curriculum and the state's responsibility for an educational program, with opportunities open to all classes of society, had a profound effect and gradually modified and Page  7directed the whole trend of higher education. But in view of the nation's cultural and political development it is difficult to see how the true state university could have developed at once. It may even be maintained that the course of higher education was better served at first through the energy and financial support of the separate church bodies in the East. The passing of the first frontier era and the resulting increase in economic and political stability and public resources were later to be reflected in broader and more liberal views, and in a more receptive public attitude towards the democratic idea of public education.

Even during the Revolutionary period, as well as during the emergence of the governmental systems of the various embryo states, public policies toward education were debated far and wide. Some maintained vigorously that the responsibility rested with the church, or at least with church and state in combination. Their influence was undeniably strong, and affected materially, and even delayed, the final establishment of universities under definite public control.

A second group, with Washington its outstanding representative, insisted on the necessity of a strong centralized government, of which one aspect was a national university. It is significant that Washington saw clearly, as early as 1775, the need of unifying the mind of the nation through the education of its youth. (Note a passage from Samuel Blodgett's Economica, quoted by Slosson, p. 97.) Despite this strong executive support and the interest of Congress and many farsighted leaders, the national university never materialized, although the city of Washington was to become one of the nation's great centers of culture and scientific investigation.

The third concept, control of education by the separate states, eventually received effective consideration. Thomas Jefferson was its most powerful advocate; he saw in it support for his doctrine of the importance of the separate states in the federal union. He tried, unsuccessfully, in a suggested amendment to the constitution of the College of William and Mary in 1779, to bring about a measure of state control by appointing five "visitors" who were not to be "restrained in their legislation by the … laws of the kingdom of England; or the canons or the constitution of the English Church." Sectarian jealousies apparently defeated this measure, but Jefferson was elected a visitor soon after he became governor, and certain changes were made which led to the granting of lands and properties to the college by the assembly. These provisions aroused strong opposition, and the matter was carried to the Court of Appeals under John Marshall, who held, in a decision given in November, 1790, that William and Mary, despite public gifts (Bell, p. 179), was essentially a private school.

Jefferson's effort was thus nullified, and for a time he turned his attention to plans for a national university. Similarly, an effort in 1785 to unite Washington College and St. John's College, founded by Anglicans, into a University of Maryland was defeated, and actual establishment was delayed until 1812, when an autonomous institution arose upon the basis of a College of Medicine in Baltimore. This university came under state control in 1826, but the state Supreme Court in 1838 gave it once more, in effect, the status of a private institution in the service of the state, which status continued until 1920. In Delaware the organization of Delaware College as a state university in 1821 was prevented by the Presbyterians.

Aside from Virginia, four states took active measures during the Revolutionary Page  8period, or immediately afterward, to establish state-supported universities. These were North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. As early as November, 1776, North Carolina, in a constitution adopted at Halifax, provided for a university, although not until December 11, 1789, did it finally receive its charter. Opened in 1795 with a class of eleven students, it was the first state university to inaugurate an academic program. Its public status, however, was limited, since its self-perpetuating board of trustees, "a characteristic of Calvinistic and Federalist areas in the country," gave the dominant orthodox Presbyterian and Federalist interests a large measure of control. Despite subsequent charter amendments empowering the general assembly to fill vacancies on the board of trustees, "the University of North Carolina remained throughout the greater part of the period before the Civil War largely under the dominance of church control" (Tewksbury, p. 177).

The first university of the type conforming to the "Revolutionary" ideal to be actually established was that of South Carolina. It was chartered in 1801, and opened in 1805 with a board of trustees elected by the legislature. Situated at Columbia, in the Piedmont district, where the Democratic party was strongest and Jefferson's liberal doctrines were popular, the institution flourished for some time. But in 1834 a liberal president was replaced by the first of a series of more orthodox executives.

The first real state university charter, which was granted by the assembly of Georgia in January, 1785, provided for a Senatus Academicus to be composed of two bodies, a board of visitors comprising the governor and other state officers, and a self-perpetuating board of trustees. Fourteen years were to elapse, however, before the first meeting of the Senatus Academicus was held. After receiving in 1801 a gift of 630 acres in Athens, by Governor John Milledge, the University of Georgia "went into operation and during the first ten years fifty students were graduated." But again Jeffersonian principles were nullified by the growing power of religious bodies and the early advanced ideals "remained in eclipse until after the Civil War."

In New York the state control of education took a very different course. King's College, established largely under Church of England influence, was considerably more liberal in its program than were most of its predecessors, though not quite so free as the other contemporary urban institution, Franklin's University of Pennsylvania. During the Revolution King's College came upon evil days. Its Tory president, Dr. Cooper, was obliged to flee, and for a time instruction was wholly discontinued. But immediately after the Revolution the state legislature began to consider "the establishment of seminaries of learning and schools for education of youth." Friends of the former King's College also petitioned for its rehabilitation and for a revision of its charter to enable it to become head of a proposed state system of education, omitting portions "inconsistent with that liberality and that civil and legislative freedom which our present happy constitution points out" (Brown, p. 29).

The outcome of this combined movement to re-establish King's College and to set up what were to be, in effect, church colleges in different parts of the state, was the University of the State of New York, evolved as a compromise. The legislature in 1784 changed King's College to Columbia College and made it a part of a centralized "University of the State of New York," governed by a board of regents — apparently the first time that term was so used in America. Page  9This body was composed of six leading state officials, the mayors of New York and Albany ex officio, and various representatives of the counties, legislative bodies, founders of colleges and schools, and fellows, as well as professors and tutors in the several colleges. It was naturally a very unwieldy assembly, and in practice was controlled by the representatives of Columbia College. Neither the country members nor the representatives of Columbia were satisfied with the first charter, and in 1787 a compromise measure was enacted, providing for a board of twenty-one regents, of whom all except the governor and lieutenant governor were to be elected by the legislature. No college or academy officer was eligible to serve. Columbia College was to be governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees.

This rather complicated system was not a university as the term is commonly accepted; eventually it came to be more analogous to the French system for centralized control of education with specific powers over secondary and higher education. The regents also controlled the chartering of colleges and universities, admissions, and the granting of degrees within the state. It was, however, clearly a state enterprise, not subject to private control, although Columbia and the other colleges and universities remained private institutions in matters of financial support, internal government, and curricula.

While these measures for state control of education were developing, with varying success, the national government, in the years almost immediately following the Revolution, made a significant provision for the public support of education.

Two measures proposed in 1783 suggest that some national leaders, at least, were thinking in broad terms. In a petition by Colonel Timothy Pickering for the formation of a state in the territory between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, submitted to Congress through George Washington, was probably the first mention of a reservation of lands for the support of education. Virginia also proposed the same year that one-tenth of the territorial lands be devoted to "the payment of … civil lists …, the erecting of a frontier force, and the founding of seminaries of learning."

These proposals, preceding the adoption of the Constitution, came as part of the plans for the regulation of the Northwest Territory, which had come under federal control as a result of the inability of the different states to agree upon their claims in the wilderness beyond the Alleghenies. Although the Continental Congress was weak and ineffective, the measures eventually taken proved one of the most constructive policies in American history.

The first legislation, on May 20, 1785, provided that lot No. 16 in every township should be reserved "for the maintenance of public schools." This was the first national recognition of the state's responsibility toward education and "marks the commencement of the policy, since uniformly observed …, for the support of common schools" (Blackmar, p. 43). Two years later the Ohio Company was formed for the settlement of the vast western area by soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and its supporters in Congress proposed that one section in each township be reserved for common schools, one for the support of religion, and that four townships in the state be set aside for the support of a university. Congress considered these concessions too liberal, and a compromise gave one section for religion, one for common schools, and two townships for a "literary institution to be applied to the intended object by the legislature of the state." This provision, included in an Page  10act of July 23, 1787, defining the "powers to the Board of Treasury to contract for the sale of the western territory," was, in effect, a second part of the Ordinance of 1787 for the governing of the Northwest Territory, adopted ten days before.

Perhaps the most significant, certainly the most famous, part of the ordinance itself was the clause setting forth the future policy of the Federal Government in the matter of education: "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

This ringing statement became the charter of all the state universities in the western areas. Generations of students at the University of Michigan read it above the stage of old University Hall; today it is emblazoned high above the great portico of Angell Hall, the main building of the University.

Despite the public approval thus significantly given to the development of public education, more than fifty years were to elapse before the principle was to become accepted and the era of the publicly supported university was to arise. Many efforts were made to give effective recognition to the ideal thus set forth by the Federal Government; but in the East the church-supported institutions were too strong and the state universities were at first too weak, whereas in the South the churches were too poor to set up their own colleges and sought to control the state institutions. Likewise, the pioneer conditions in the Northwest Territory were too confused to carry the conception of public education beyond theoretical formulation. Thus, almost everywhere, active sectarian opposition proved for many years a most effective factor in preventing any great degree of college and university support by the states.

The advocates of state education — men of vision such as Jefferson — were thinking in terms of broad political philosophies, but their numbers were comparatively few. While lip service was paid to their views, particularly in the West, their influence was far less effective than the organized and immediate opposition of the various church bodies, and the support they gave their own institutions as soon as they were established.

This opposition was intensified, particularly during the first decades of the nineteenth century, by a great religious revival representing not only a reaction from the liberalism and the skepticism of the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary period and the influence of contemporary France, but also a gradual return to more settled conditions and more conservative views. An upsurge of religious zeal in the colleges and universities was one result. It was not merely a passive attitude. Scores of "hopefully pious" young college men went West to build churches and colleges in the Mississippi Valley supported by numerous "home missionary societies" in the East. This movement was primarily responsible for the church-related colleges of the Middle West today, although much of the work of these emissaries was nonsectarian and was supported effectively by the Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education at the West, which refused to give funds to any institution under sectarian domination (Dunbar, MS, pp. 40, 101).

Nevertheless, although the ideal of state-supported education gradually grew stronger, church influence in education persisted and early legislatures in the Western states granted charters freely to sectarian schools. The proper use of the federal lands also came into question, and efforts arose to divert the funds thus provided to church-supported colleges. But the early legislatures, for Page  11the most part, stood firm and held these designated sections for the public institutions. Mismanagement, and in some cases actual fraud, however, often made the sums realized pitifully small. In this respect Michigan was more fortunate, and, as the result of the public spirit of her leaders during territorial and early statehood days, realized more than twice the amount "received for any other educational grant in the North West Territory" (Blackmar, p. 243).

When the University of Michigan was first established, in 1817, the seven existing state universities were far from fulfilling the present-day conception of a state institution. Most of them were governed by self-perpetuating boards, or, despite liberal charter provisions, were actually controlled through the influence of various religious bodies in state political organizations. Even in Virginia state control was not to continue unchallenged, although eventually, in 1819, Thomas Jefferson was able to fulfill his dream and establish the University of Virginia through rechartering Central College, a small institution evolved from an academy three years before. A board of visitors appointed by the governor was to have oversight of the institution subject at all times to legislative control, but almost at once it became the target of denominational forces. After Jefferson's death their influence became stronger. In the words of a contemporary British observer of obviously clerical sympathies, the institution "languished and became almost extinct till a Christian influence was infused into its management." Nevertheless, this "influence" did not represent the type of sectarian control exercised in other Southern universities. Something of Jefferson's ideas and liberal educational philosophy remained and was destined to exercise a profound influence on the state-university movement.

At just this period the principle of public support for higher education was vitally affected by John Marshall's Supreme Court decision in the famous Dartmouth College case. It came as the result of New Hampshire's effort to gain control of Dartmouth College, chartered in 1769 by the King of England as a private institution under Congregationalist influences. Marshall's decision, given in February, 1819, made it clear that the corporate organization of the older colleges was unassailable by state governments, and that private and sectarian colleges could maintain themselves without legislative interference, despite the very general feeling that the colonial charters were anachronisms in a new era of liberal principles and public control.

This decision was a serious blow to the advocates of public control of higher education and undoubtedly retarded the rise of state universities, though it gave corresponding encouragement to the endowed institutions. Its immediate effect was to strengthen the cause of higher education (Thwing, pp. 275-78), support the sectarian movement, and stimulate the growth of literally hundreds of seminaries, academies, and colleges throughout the Western territories in the decades before the Civil War — emphatically the era of the small church college. Also, it formulated in simple terms the question as to whether the educational institutions of the country were to be maintained by religious bodies or by the state. For many years the answer, to all practical purposes, was the first alternative. As late as 1860 President G. F. Magoun of the University of Iowa observed that "the whole number of colleges in the United States not founded by religion can be counted upon one hand" (Tewksbury, p. 56).

Nevertheless, a few earlier experiments kept more or less alive the principle Page  12of state education — in their designation as state universities, however, and in certain features of their relation to the state, rather than in their actual administration. Marshall's responsibility for this development throughout the years preceding the Civil War cannot be overlooked, although the strongly religious American spirit, commented upon by many European observers, was perhaps equally important. De Tocqueville noted: "There is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America. By regulating domestic life, it regulates the State."

While the Dartmouth College case is perhaps best known for its effect on American business practices through its emphasis on the right of contract and corporate organization, it is equally significant through its effect upon educational institutions. By defining the status of denominational colleges it affected the whole future course of higher education. Many states which organized universities subsequent to Marshall's decision provided specifically for some degree of legislative control, for elective, or appointive, rather than self-perpetuating, governing boards, for boards of visitors responsible to the state, and for the reservation of powers to cancel charters. Some legislatures, it is true, remained under the influence of religious bodies and blocked, temporarily, the establishment of "godless" institutions of higher education. But the ultimate effect of the Dartmouth College case was to clarify and define precisely the position of the state university. The reaction from the liberal and anticlerical philosophy of the Revolutionary period was thus by no means universal.

Efforts to acquire some elements of public control are to be observed in many of the colleges and universities established immediately after the Revolution. This was the case in Vermont, the first new state to be admitted, which chartered its university in 1791. Its founders apparently favored a liberal form of administration, but the controlling Puritan and Federalist interests provided a self-perpetuating, and not a state-appointed, board of trustees. This was all changed in 1810, however, when the legislature was empowered to elect the trustees. Nevertheless, the institution did not flourish. In 1828 the original charter was reaffirmed and religious influences became once more dominant, and they remained so until after the Civil War, when the institution became in actuality a state university, in a reorganization which took place at about the time when James Burrill Angell became its president.

Kentucky, which followed Vermont into the Union, had already established Transylvania University, under a self-perpetuating board, largely Presbyterian. This early institution did not survive, and in 1837 Bacon College, founded by the Disciples Church, was chartered. It was later discontinued, but was re-established in 1865 as Kentucky University, and in 1907 became the University of Kentucky. Its denominational character was retained until well into the present century (Tewksbury, p. 190). In Tennessee, Blount College, established in 1794 as a Presbyterian institution, became in time the University of Tennessee, although it did not emerge as a state university of the modern type until 1870.

Of the other Southern states admitted to the Union, Louisiana, admitted in 1812, tried, unsuccessfully, to maintain several institutions of semipublic character, representing varying political, racial, and religious interests. The first step toward a real university came when the state utilized the two federal townships of land for the Louisiana State Page  13Seminary of Learning, with trustees appointed by the governor. It was opened for students in 1860 and in 1870 became Louisiana State University and moved to Baton Rouge.

Mississippi, admitted to the Union in 1817, at first supported a series of institutions under denominational control, and no movement toward a university developed until an increase in the state's resources permitted the establishment in 1844 of a university at Oxford, under direct state control. It was endowed with the proceeds of one free section of land, and was given a self-perpetuating board of trustees. In 1857 the governor was made an ex officio trustee, and in 1861 public control was assured when the state was empowered to fill all vacancies on the board.

In Alabama the development of a true state university came somewhat earlier. The University, chartered in 1821, two years after statehood was achieved, opened in 1831 under the direct control of the legislature, supported by the proceeds of the federal land grants. It was located at Tuscaloosa and, through a conciliatory attitude toward the dominant religious interests, acquired an unusual measure of stability.

Missouri entered the Union in 1821, but its situation as a border state and the resulting partisan quarrels led to delay in the establishment of a university. Congress authorized the sale of the usual two townships in 1831, but the returns proved entirely inadequate, and effective action was delayed for some years. Plans for a comprehensive state university were finally approved in 1839, and the institution, located at Columbia, opened in 1841. Partisan feeling over slavery and opposition of sectarian bodies greatly hampered its development until after the Civil War.

Ohio and Indiana were the first divisions of the Northwest Territory to receive settlers in any numbers, and the institutions which later developed into state universities received charters at an early day. But their programs were limited, and Michigan, somewhat later, became the first state within this great area to take definite measures looking toward a comprehensive state system of education.

The national policy of giving public lands for educational purposes was, however, inaugurated in Ohio. Congress in 1787 granted two townships to the Ohio Company of Associates and one township to John Cleves Symmes — a precedent ultimately followed in all the states subsequently established. The first institution in Ohio, the American Western University at Athens, chartered under the Ohio Company grant in 1802, later became Ohio University. The founders intended it to be a private institution, but the state administration had other views and provided that the legislature not only should appoint the trustees but also should "alter, limit or restrain any of the powers granted to the institution" (Knight and Commons, pp. 14-18). Ohio University thus became in theory the first state university, of the type projected during the Revolutionary era, in the newer states; in actuality it was dominated and weakened by religious interests, which had a stronger control over several other colleges in the state and gave them more active support.

Under the grant of a third township to John Cleves Symmes another institution, Miami University, in western Ohio, was also established under state auspices in 1809. Here a self-perpetuating board of trustees, combined with the same provisions for state supervision as in the University, and an eventual requirement that the trustees report to the legislature, gave it, in effect, a dual status, which hindered its development. It was placed more directly under the control Page  14of the state in 1842, but Presbyterian interests were dominant in determining policies. Ohio State University, eventually the largest state institution in Ohio, was originally established with a state charter in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, after the passage of the Morrill Land Grant Act. The University was opened in 1873 and assumed its present designation in 1878.

In Indiana, admitted as a state in 1816, the history of educational effort begins with Vincennes University, founded in 1806 as a semipublic institution. This university did not survive, however, and the state eventually turned to Indiana Seminary at Bloomington, chartered in 1820 and raised to the collegiate level in 1828. It was given control of the two townships of federal land, but was governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees, and, although a board of visitors was created by the legislature, policies were controlled by Presbyterian interests. In the meantime a number of sectarian colleges attracted the support of the various religious bodies, and Indiana College, as it was then called, came more and more under the direction of the legislature, which, in 1838, granted it a new charter and named it Indiana University. Vestiges of sectarian control remained, nevertheless, and it was not completely transformed into a modern state university until after the Civil War.

This survey of the state institutions established before the University of Michigan was actually under way indicates how precarious and inadequate was the first support given educational programs by the different states. A very few institutions recognized in a measure the principle of a publicly maintained program in higher education, but most of them were under the political influence of religious bodies, which regarded such a policy as missionary propaganda. They actively maintained control of the little state-supported colleges through political manipulation of legislatures and representation on boards of visitors and trustees as well as in college faculties. Some political and educational leaders with vision and ideals clung to the Jeffersonian principles of education, so effectively stated in the Ordinance of 1787, but for many years their efforts were nullified by the sustained and vociferous zeal of the religious bodies.

Moreover, the state institutions were in danger of being literally lost among the enormous number of sectarian colleges founded in the period previous to the Civil War. One writer (Tewksbury, p. 28) reports 516 such establishments in 16 states, of which 412 failed to survive. In Georgia alone, out of 51 colleges, 44 fell by the wayside, and in Ohio 26 out of 43 colleges were casualties. Nevertheless, 182 institutions established before 1861 have survived, beginning with Harvard in 1636 and ending with Vassar and Seton Hall, founded in 1861. Of this number 21 are given as state institutions, although, as we have seen, few at first were subject to any degree of real state control.

It was the re-establishment of the University of Michigan under the state constitution in 1837 that signalized the end of the dormant period in state support of education, although results were not to become conspicuously apparent until after the Civil War.

Michigan's early attitude towards education had differed in many respects from that of the other states of the Northwest, since from the first its educational program was free from church control. This was true even in the first incarnation of the institution in Detroit, the Catholepistemiad of Michigania, founded in 1817 as the result of the educational ideals and political theories of two strangely assorted but brilliant leaders — Father Page  15Gabriel Richard, a missionary priest of the Catholic Church, and Augustus A. B. Woodward, a freethinking scholar and friend of President Jefferson, who appointed him in 1805 chief justice of the Territory. Their efforts were supported by other vigorous personalities in the little French-Canadian settlement, which was the Detroit of that period: Lewis Cass, Governor of the Territory, William Woodbridge, Secretary of State, and John Monteith, a young Presbyterian missionary just graduated from Princeton.

This group produced a decidedly original plan for a system of education to be created and maintained by the territorial government, a system which, despite its name, was sound and comprehensive. It was to be an administrative system as well as an educational institution, for the teachers or didactors (didactoriim) to be appointed by the governor and paid from the public treasury, were to be not only instructors in the institution but also a corporate body empowered to appoint teachers, "establish colleges, academies, schools, libraries, museums, athenaeums, botanical gardens, laboratories, and other useful literary and scientific institutions." It was also charged with providing directors, visitors, curators, librarians, instructors "and instructrixes, among and throughout the various counties, cities, towns, townships and other geographical divisions of Michigan." As Hinsdale observes (p. 9), the didactors were to be "quite as much a territorial board of education, clothed with ample political powers, as a university faculty" (see Part I: Early History and Regents).

No steps were taken to secure the lands granted by Congress in 1805 until 1823, when new legislation was requested. Delays ensued, but finally, on May 26, 1826, nine years after the Catholepistemiad was created, Congress set aside two townships for the use and support of a university within the Territory of Michigan. Michigan thus set up her first plan for a university with no aid from any source save the people of the Territory.

It was an ambitious enterprise for a community on the edge of a wilderness, which included, all told, not many more than five thousand inhabitants (Hinsdale, p. 5). The governor and judges, who exercised legislative and executive powers in the Territory, were authorized to increase public taxes by 15 per cent, and four successive lotteries were authorized, of which the institution was to retain 15 per cent of the prizes. Student fees were to provide the only other income.

The main inspiration for this plan lay in the liberal political philosophy of the Revolutionary period, but other elements contributed to its unique character. Father Richard for many years had been advocating a system of public education and had even presented a memorial to the territorial governor and judges in 1808, suggesting "an academy in which the higher branches … should be taught to the young gentlemen of our country" (McLaughlin, p. 16). He was undoubtedly familiar with the French system of public instruction and this may well have influenced his thinking, though he had been necessarily practical in his educational experiments, and was possibly more interested in elementary education.

Judge Woodward, however, was a man of entirely different outlook, essentially a classical scholar in whom the dreams of a visionary were curiously mingled with the activities of the lawyer and politician. He was probably a native of New York City; at any rate he was a student at Columbia during the period when the establishment of the University of the State of New York was under Page  16debate, and doubtless was familiar with that plan for public administration of education. Later, as a lawyer in Washington, he became a friend, possibly a protégé, of Jefferson (Jenks, p. 565). Both were interested in general philosophical and political principles extending to the systems for the universal classification of knowledge which engaged contemporary European philosophers. Woodward's efforts resulted in his System of Universal Science, setting forth his own ideas, later to become the basis of his plan for the Catholepistemiad (Isbell, p. 168). He played an important role in Michigan during the territorial period, and his grandiose conceptions led to the present plan of radiating streets in Detroit, the organization of a million-dollar bank corporation, and an elaborate system of laws for the Territory, as well as to the first organization of the University (Dunbar, "State Control," pp. 256 ff.).

In 1814, at the time of the occupation of Detroit by the British, Woodward paid a visit to Jefferson at Monticello. Jefferson was then developing his plans for the University of Virginia, and it must be taken as more than a coincidence that his plans were set forth in a letter to Governor W. C. Nicholas of Virginia on April 2, 1816 (H. B. Adams, p. 67), and in another to Joseph C. Cabell, September 9, 1817 (Jefferson, XVII: 417), only a fortnight after Woodward had secured the adoption of his similar plan in Michigan. Both proposed complete systems of education from the common school to the university, assigned its management to a central board, and gave the state final control. Jefferson, however, avoided the pseudoclassical jargon found in the Michigan act, though he had employed such terms in his younger days in the Ordinance of 1784. Jefferson's debt to French thinkers is well recognized, and French contemporary ideas were probably incorporated in the Michigan proposal, not only through Father Richard's and Woodward's acquaintance with the Napoleonic system of education, but also through the influence of Jefferson on Woodward. Likewise, there is reason to believe that the New York plan for a state system of education was in the minds of the two men.

It is significant also of the powers contemplated in Woodward's scheme, and its relationship to the New York plan, that on October 3, 1817, an act was passed by the "University of Michigania" providing that "there be established in the City of Detroit, a College, to be denominated the First College of Michigania," that "edifices" for its accommodation be erected, and that "the President and Professors of the University of Michigania shall be the President and Professors of the said College" (Early Records, p. 28). Although this college was never in actual operation, the measures for its creation, with similar provisions for the primary schools and academies actually set up, indicate a supervisory status on the part of the university analogous to that of the University of New York.

Woodward's plan has been called by one historian (Blackmar, p. 238) "the first model of a complete state university in America," while the late E. E. Slosson maintained (p. 168) that, as a result of this measure, "the honor of being called 'the mother of the state universities' was reserved for Michigan." It remained, however, for eighteen years only an ideal, even though in such administrative measures as were taken by the trustees there was no retreat from the original strong provisions for state control. Among the early records of the University, from 1817 to 1837 (Early Records, pp. 182-98), are drafts of several proposed enactments to strengthen the Page  17state administration. One of these suggested the election of a board of thirteen regents — the first time this term, borrowed from the New York plan, was used in connection with any university.

In 1821 a second legislative measure created what was, in effect, a new institution at Detroit on the basis of the first plan, to be known simply as the University of Michigan, and to be controlled by twenty-one trustees under legislative appointment, empowered to establish other colleges, academies, and schools and to grant degrees. The most significant passage was a provision that no person should be excluded as president, professor, instructor, or pupil "for his conscientious persuasion in matters of religion." Nevertheless, the new act "did not impart vigor to the institution … In fact, the trustees did not maintain the standard that the Didactors had set up" (Hinsdale, p. 14).

These actions by the territorial government were, as a matter of fact, little more than stage settings for future educational developments in Michigan. The university as the capstone of this first educational edifice never came into being. The building erected in Detroit was used only for primary and secondary education, although the trustees continued throughout the period to function as a corporate body, maintaining the institution's slender property. But the ideals set forth were destined to have a profound effect.

It will be noted that at the time Michigan became a state in 1837, only a few institutions bore the name of state universities, and practically all of them, including Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Vermont, were in effect under sectarian control, while the University of the State of New York was an administrative body, exercising in behalf of the state a certain degree of control over a number of strongly sectarian institutions. The University of Alabama, with its effective state control from its establishment in 1831, was an exception.

Rapid growth did not come in Michigan until after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, whereas settlers had streamed into southern Ohio and Indiana almost immediately after the Revolutionary War. But in the decade between 1830 and 1840, Michigan changed from a community of hunters and trappers to a state in which the ideals and Yankee traditions of the Atlantic seaboard, particularly New York and New England, became predominant. This rapid development also made the University's financial problems somewhat less difficult and probably spelled the difference between success and failure. Many young men of culture and education were attracted by the opportunities the West offered, among them clergymen with the missionary spirit then prevalent in the East. Through their influence two institutions in particular, Yale and Princeton, became models for many of the colleges to be established. It was not a mere chance, therefore, that the striking personalities that participated in the establishment of the University of Michigan were mostly college men.

General Isaac Edmund Crary, who guided the University's first destinies in the constitutional convention of 1835, a graduate of Trinity (then Washington) College, Connecticut, had just come to live in the home of John D. Pierce in the tiny settlement of Marshall. The measures which he proposed as chairman of the committee on education in the convention formed the subject of many discussions with Pierce. Although the constitution, as adopted, did not actually authorize the establishment of a university, it did provide that:

The legisláture shall take measures for the Page  18protection, improvement or other disposition of such lands as have been or may hereafter be, reserved or granted by the United States to this State, for the support of a University; and the funds accruing … shall be and remain a permanent fund for the support of said University, with such branches as the public convenience may hereafter demand …

(Const., 1835, Art. 10, sec. 5.)

The intent of this clause was clear and was taken as a mandate, for within less than two months after Michigan was admitted to the Union the legislature passed, on March 18, 1837, what has been known as the organic act of the University. This measure in practically all respects followed a scheme for the University prepared by Pierce, who had already been appointed under the temporary state organization superintendent of public instruction, an office hitherto unknown. As a result the University of Michigan was given the most advanced and effective plan for a state university so far evolved, a model for all the state institutions of higher learning which were established subsequently. President Angell said fifty years later: "Our means have not yet enabled us to execute in all particulars the comprehensive plan which was framed by Mr. Pierce" (Semi-centennial, p. 162).

This act authorized the creation of a Board of Regents, with a chancellor, to be ex officio president. There were to be three departments, the professorships specified included one on natural theology, to include "the history of all religions" — an interesting contrast to the abandonment of a special department of theology in the earlier colonial colleges, which were so definitely sectarian. A board of five visitors appointed by the superintendent of public instruction was to inspect the University and report on its work. The Regents were also required to report to the state.

A further important and unique measure was the authorization of branches of the University. Pierce had originally recommended that these schools should be maintained jointly by the counties and the University, but his suggestion was not accepted, with the result that state control remained centralized. These branches, in effect, gave practical form to the provision for "schools, academies and athenaeums" in the earlier University of Michigania. No members of the clergy were included in the first Board of Regents, a policy which aroused immediate antagonism from church bodies and was later remedied by the appointment of a number of clergymen to the Board. These supposedly sectarian representatives, however, were never in a majority on the Board, and often, as in the case of the Reverend George Duffield, who served from 1839 to 1848, were among the most active and unprejudiced Regents.

The Regents first met in Ann Arbor on June 5, 1837, for a three-day session, at which the site of the University was fixed, eight branches were authorized, four professorships provided, and their salaries fixed at not "less than $1,200 or more than $2,000." It is significant that the character of the proposed institution as a university in the modern sense had been clearly recognized in the organic act of March 18, through the authorization of departments of law and medicine, although the Regents at this meeting provided only for a professorship in law.

Most of these measures were premature; no executive of the University was appointed until 1852, faculty salaries did not reach the established figure for thirty years, and the Law Department did not come until 1859, but in all their actions it is clear that the Regents conceived the institution as the center of a state system of learning.

This start in many respects was auspicious, Page  19but actual progress was slow. No funds were immediately available for buildings, and properly prepared students were lacking. A loan of $100,000 from the state proved necessary to support the branches and inaugurate a building program, but even with this aid four years passed before the University was able to open its doors in September, 1841. The first faculty consisted of two men: the Reverend George P. Williams, a prominent Episcopalian who had been principal of the Pontiac branch, and the Reverend Joseph Whiting, a Presbyterian minister and principal of the Niles branch. These two men were not long alone, however, for gradually, in recognition of the desirability of a religious atmosphere, men of other religious persuasions were added, although the Regents were careful to give no one denomination control. But for many years the various religious bodies felt that they had a prescriptive right to the appointments in the different professorships, an unwritten law that remained in force until President Tappan's time. One of his strongest opponents, Professor Alexander Winchell, was particularly disappointed because he was not given the house on the campus assigned customarily to the "Methodist Professor."

Members of the faculty at first served one year each as president, a practice that afforded no opportunity for any one religious body to become predominant, but it led to difficulties and disputes within the faculty that weakened the University for some years. Student resentment over an attempt to abolish fraternities also increased the troubles of the little institution. The resulting acrimonious jealousies and disputes brought about the enforced resignation of most of the members, pending the adoption of a new state constitution which, it was thought, would give the University a fresh start. It is worthy of note that, in the final outcome, the fraternities were recognized and the faculty troubles brought about a stronger, more centralized administration.

The Constitution of 1850 provided that the Regents were to be elected rather than appointed by the governor and were to have general supervision of the University, in effect, a co-ordinate and not subordinate part of the state government, thus ensuring direct control by the people of the state. Again, no clergyman was numbered among the eight new Regents. The new Board reinstated Professor Williams, one of the three who had been deprived of their positions by the retiring Regents, and in other appointments it followed the precedent of recognizing the principal church bodies of the state. The new constitution also called for a stronger administrative policy through a mandatory provision that a president be appointed, and, in accordance with this action, Henry Philip Tappan became President in 1852. Although he was a Presbyterian clergyman, his vigorous, nonsectarian policy inaugurated a practical demonstration of the essential practicability and soundness of principles in higher education which in most of the states up to that time had been only a dream in the minds of a few political and educational leaders.

Throughout this early period both the legislature and the Regents took a strong position against dominating church influences in educational policies. Though instruction in religion and morals was recognized in the University, both the legislature and the Board actively opposed control by any one denomination. Moreover, the sentiment in favor of a centralized educational system was so strong that the first charters granted other church-related schools in Michigan did not confer the right to grant degrees (Hinsdale, p. 29), and the state constitution Page  20of 1850 prohibited entirely the granting of special charters to educational institutions, except under a general law. Such a law was not enacted until the Republican party came into power in 1855, when a number of sectarian institutions were established in accordance with its provisions.

A certain amount of criticism of the University became strong enough eventually to bring about the dismissal of President Tappan in 1863. In part this action was the result of sectarian opposition, although his insistence that church control had no place in a state university, evidenced by his refusal to affiliate with his own church body in Ann Arbor, became a firmly established principle after his time. The appointment of Dr. Erastus O. Haven, a Methodist clergyman, in 1852, as Professor of Latin (later to become Tappan's successor in the presidency), was the last appointment made upon a denominational basis (Dunbar, "State Control," p. 212). What was in some of its essentials a revival of the effort for denominational control of the University, which culminated in the Douglas-Rose controversy of the late seventies, also proved unsuccessful, and Michigan's position as the first institution founded and continuously maintained from its first days free of sectarian domination was definitely confirmed (see Part I: Douglas-Rose Controversy).

As Professor Ten Brook, himself a member of the early faculty and the first historian of the University, pointed out in his American State Universities (1875), the people of the state were at first uncertain as regards their relationship to the University. "There was no consciousness of ownership … and responsibility for its management. This consciousness existed everywhere, nowhere" (p. 184). Since, in his view, state institutions "had never prospered in this country," the general attitude was that the trust for the University set up by the federal land grant must be administered in accordance with the established specifications, but there was no great enthusiasm, or "even hopeful feeling," during the decade before 1852. Since "all the successful institutions of this country were under the control of bodies of religious men … or closed corporations" whose leaders had been carefully chosen for their special qualifications:

From the very nature of the case no class of men could thus fully identify themselves with this University … Various religious denominations, and their members, as individuals, looked upon it as quite foreign to themselves; it would, of course, they thought, be managed by politicians.

The result was a general feeling that the University should be "managed by the lawyers." This was very largely the case in the first Boards of Regents, but it was also recognized that, while a religious atmosphere was desirable in the University, no particular denomination was to control the institution. Ten Brook observes, perhaps a little optimistically (p. 282):

There can probably be no instances found in which regents determined beforehand, if indeed they ever suggested, that a particular place should be filled with a man of a particular denomination of Christians. Nor do they make any effort to keep the confessions evenly represented; although if they should ever find any one decidedly predominating over others they might perhaps, in a quiet way, check the tendency.

Among the other universities whose establishment followed Michigan's prior to the era of expanson and liberal policies after the Civil War, none was to follow Michigan's example in all respects. Iowa,* like Michigan, had incorporated Page  21a weak institution during its territorial days in 1840, but it was far from a state system of organization. It was not until 1847, one year after Iowa became a state, that a university was established by the legislature under the grant of the two townships for the support of higher education made in conformity with the practice almost universally followed by Congress in the case of new states. The new Iowa institution, opened in 1855, met immediate opposition from the sectarian interests, which were dominant until after the Civil War. For a period the University was placed under a state board of education, but in 1864 it came again under control of the legislature and entered upon a period of increasing expansion and effectiveness.

With the admission of Wisconsin to the Union in 1848, the old Northwest Territory came to an end. During territorial days three efforts had been made to establish a university in Wisconsin, but only after the new legislature came into existence was a state university definitely established at Madison. In the meantime the colleges at Beloit and Racine, founded by religious interests, became centers of active opposition, and placed the University in a precarious position. To meet this situation the distinguished educator, Henry Barnard, was called from the East in 1859. The emphasis he developed on practical sciences and teacher training met with popular approval and ensured immediately a degree of success which, with the subsequent support of the Morrill Act, enabled the University to broaden its curriculum as the period of acute religious controversy came to an end.

The pattern followed in Iowa and Wisconsin is also to be discerned in Minnesota, admitted as a state in 1858. An early university, incorporated in 1851, was not organized, and the regents found their only function in administering the lands appropriated by the government, involving a series of long and complicated controversies. Not until the Morrill Act gave a new impetus to the movement was the University of Minnesota finally reorganized in 1868 under a comprehensive charter with a board of regents appointed by the governor.

One result of the Civil War was a strengthening of national and state administrative agencies. This led inevitably to an increasing interest in public affairs and broader concepts of public policy, which gradually lessened the opposition to state-supported education. All the states in the Middle West and West, so rapidly formed during the era of western expansion, created state universities as one of their first legislative measures. In some cases, as in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, they built upon experiments inaugurated during territorial days or during the pre-Civil-War period; in others, the university was established by the legislature as an entirely new enterprise and a part of a properly constituted state organization.

Moreover, effective opposition from religious interests to tax support for universities, strong at first, gradually grew weaker after the Civil War, and the institutions were permitted finally to develop as fast as they could under the relatively slender resources of these new commonwealths.

The encouragement of instruction in agriculture and the sciences which resulted from the granting of lands by the Morrill Act of 1862 was directly responsible for the establishment of a number of state universities. In Maine and New Hampshire, state colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts eventually became state universities, and the same evolution was followed in the case of the Ohio State University, as already noted, and Page  22in Illinois, where the Illinois Industrial University, established in 1867, became the University of Illinois in 1885. Kansas made provision for a university in 1855 in the first territorial constitution, but nothing came of it until the government land grants were received in 1864. The University was opened in 1865.

Michigan's practice, after 1850, of making her governing Board of Regents an elective body was followed in only a few of the new universities — Illinois, Nebraska, Colorado, and Nevada. In other universities the members of governing bodies are subject to appointment by the governor, sometimes with, and sometimes without, approval by the legislature, or to election by the legislature, while in a few institutions the old method of a self-perpetuating board has been continued. The governor and superintendent of public instruction are usually ex officio members of the board; in some instances, other officers are also included.

In the matter of financial support, also, Michigan utilized a novel device, the mill tax, first authorized by the legislature in 1867, which gave the University the income from a tax of one-twentieth of a mill upon all the taxable property in the state, ensuring a progressively increasing income. It was apparently adapted from a provision in the state educational law of 1843 for the support of primary education and libraries in the townships, assessing two mills on each dollar of property valuation, up to $25, for libraries, and the remainder for the support of schools (Public Instruction, p. 401). The adaptation of this plan for University support apparently was first recommended by Franklin Sawyer, Jr., the second superintendent of public instruction of Michigan (R.S.P.I., 1842, p. 65). Prior to that time the University had received no support from the state, aside from the original loan of $100,000 made in 1838. Michigan's example in this method of support was followed by a number of other states, though many continued to grant only annual or biennial appropriations.

The strong centralization of Michigan's whole educational system, first proposed in 1817 and again tried in 1837, was eventually and necessarily modified, since the projects proved in many respects impracticable. Moreover, it was found upon the establishment of the branches in 1838 that the University's finances, arising largely through the income from federal lands, were totally inadequate for such a program, and they were discontinued soon after the University was actually under way. Nevertheless, in the emphasis on the centralized university which came through the early policy toward the establishment of sectarian institutions and the cordial relations later maintained with the secondary schools, as well as in the establishment of the medical and law schools, the influence of the early plans for a complete integration of education in Michigan is obvious.

The organic relationship with secondary schools implied in the creation of the branches ceased, it is true, with their discontinuance, but a constructive and co-operative relationship with the public schools developed, which led to an action by the Regents in March, 1871, authorizing a plan for inspection of schools by the University and the admission of students from approved high schools without examination. This measure represented in some degree the state school system contemplated fifty years before, and resulted in a strong and organic educational program soon imitated by many other universities. So well-recognized was Michigan's leadership in this field that this plan for co-operation with the schools of the state became known as the "Michigan system."

Page  23Michigan also was distinguished by the fact that from its inception it was organized as a university, and with the opening of the Department of Medicine and Surgery in 1850 and the Law Department ten years later, it functioned as a true university in fact as well as in name. Certain other state institutions, established before the University of Michigan, incorporated professional schools in their organization, but in most cases these departments had originated as private schools and did not become parts of the university until after Michigan's professional schools were well under way.

Pennsylvania's medical school, founded in 1765, was the oldest in the United States, and her law school came in 1850. But the University of Pennsylvania, despite its name, has always remained essentially a private institution, and the same is true of Harvard, whose medical school came in 1782 and law school in 1817. The University of Maryland was founded in 1812 upon the basis of a medical school in Baltimore, but for most of the period before 1870 was really a private institution. Virginia's law school was established in 1826 and her medical school in 1827, while Vermont's medical school was established in 1822, and courses in civil engineering were inaugurated in 1829. But, as we have seen, Vermont was not an independent institution under effective state control at the time the University of Michigan was organized, while Virginia has always remained only in part a state institution with less than one-fourth of her present annual income derived from the state.

With the possible exception of Virginia, Michigan was thus in effect the first true university to be operated under public auspices, and the high educational standards this implied undoubtedly contributed to the relatively early success of Michigan's educational experiment. It is also noteworthy that the University of Michigan, in contrast with many state universities, has been characterized by the grouping of all the professional schools upon the one campus in Ann Arbor.

In this review of the evolution of state support for higher education it is impossible to suggest all the social, economic, and political forces which contributed to the final result. The parallel in political ideals, educational philosophy, and curriculum between the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan is significant, even though the actual connecting link lies hidden in the uncertainties of the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Judge Woodward. Jefferson's creation of the University of Virginia in 1819 may be taken as the culmination of a first wave of state universities in the older states, which rose with the political doctrines of the Revolution. Michigan's Catholepistemiad of 1817, on the other hand, was the beginning of a second period of state university development beyond the Alleghenies, which eventually led to the acceptance of the principle of state responsibility for higher education and the creation of what has come to be recognized as the accepted type of state university.

The favorable auspices under which some of the state universities were established during the first era were for many years nullified by powerful political and economic forces in the older culture of the Eastern seaboard. The conservatism of the Federalists and their successors, and the strength of the church bodies, particularly after the era of religious revivals in the early nineteenth century, weakened the power and prestige of the first state institutions, brought the privately endowed and sectarian institutions before the public, and enabled them to assume the leadership of higher education.

It was in the new West, where the Page  24slate was clean, that the state university received its eventual form. There, the very poverty and lack of resources played a part in its development. The extraordinary multiplicity and consequent feebleness of the sectarian institutions, and the mortality among those established, gave an especial reasonableness to the plea for the strength of state support of education. Moreover, the Western area was settled by the more enterprising elements from the population of the older states. They were on the whole liberal and democratic in their views, and, despite the efforts of the different religious bodies, the ingrained philosophy of the Revolutionary era had its effect, although for well over fifty years the struggle continued between the privately supported sectarian institutions and the state universities.

Michigan did not overlook the desirability of religious and moral education, but both the legislature and the Regents insisted from the first upon the University's complete freedom from private and sectarian control. The division of the professorships among the larger denominations, a system devised to meet church critics, proved an adequate means of coping with the trying situation. It served the University well in its early days, and enabled the institution, despite strong attacks such as the student and faculty troubles of 1850, to meet successfully every effort of the various religious bodies to exercise control over it.

Unquestionably, however, the factor most important of all in the success of the University of Michigan as a state institution of higher learning was the vision and progressive spirit of the men who guided the institution in its first days. Whether they held liberal religious views or were clergymen of different persuasions, they were all convinced of the soundness of the principles upon which the University was established, and there is little evidence of any effort on the part of the legislature or the Regents to bring about the type of domination which in many states delayed the final emergence of true state institutions of learning.

It was this early, and effective, declaration of the principle of state responsibility for higher education that made Michigan an example to other states and the outstanding leader in the second and successful era of state university establishment.


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McLaughlin, Andrew C., and Others. "History of Higher Education in Michigan."U. S. Bur. Ed., Circ. Information (Contrib. Amer. Ed. Hist., No. 11), 1891, No. 4: 1-179.
Marsh, Clarence S. (Ed.). American Universities and Colleges. 4th ed.; Washington, D. C.: Amer. Counc. Ed., 1940.
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1835. (Const., 1835.)
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1850.
Morison, Samuel E.The Founding of Harvard College. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935.
Morison, Samuel E.Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1936.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, 1864-1940.
Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837. Ed. by Frank E. Robbins. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1935. (Early Records.)
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Michigan, 1836-1940. (R.S.P.I.)
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Sherwood, Sidney, and Others. "The University of the State of New York: History of Higher Education in the State of New York."U. S. Bur. Ed., Circ. Information (Contrib. Amer. Ed. Hist., No. 28), 1900, No. 3: 1-58.
Slosson, Edwin E.The American Spirit in Education. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1921.
System of Public Instruction and Primary School Law of Michigan … Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1852. (Public Instruction.)
Ten Brook, Andrew. American State Universities: Their Origin and Progress. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co., 1875.
Tewksbury, Donald G.The Founding of American Colleges and Universities Before the Civil War. (Columbia Univ. Contrib. Ed., No. 543.) New York: Columbia Univ., 1932.
Thwing, Charles F.A History of Higher Education in America. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1906.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.
University of Michigan.1837-1887. The Semi-centennial Celebration … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1888. (Semi-centennial.)
Page  26


In his commemorative oration delivered on the semicentennial anniversary of the founding of the University in June, 1887, President James Burrill Angell said: "We might in a very just sense celebrate this year the centennial of the life of the University." Just one hundred years before, the Ordinance of 1787 had proclaimed that throughout the Northwest Territory then in process of organization "schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." This advanced educational policy rested upon sound precedents in the administration of education in the Colonies, where most of the colleges, particularly in the beginning, had received active support from the public treasuries, although by the time of the Revolution, the administration of most of these institutions had come under what was practically church control (see Part I: The University of Michigan and State Education).

The Ordinance of 1787 was inspired by the liberal and even free thinking spirit of that period and in its provisions for education proclaimed, despite the generally accepted view, that the maintenance of schools was a function of the state. This conception of a public responsibility for education formed one of the really constructive policies inaugurated by the weak and ineffective national government in the era before the adoption of the Constitution, though it was to be many years before its implications were to be realized in Michigan or in any other of the states to be established.

Aside from outlying trading posts the only settlement in Michigan at that time was Detroit, a little village of French and Indian fur traders. It was situated strategically, however, on the highway of the GreatLakes, and, like many frontier communities, it attracted men with a talent for leadership as soon as it became a part of the United States in 1796. Among those who rose to prominence in Detroit were three significant figures. The first was Father Gabriel Richard, a French Sulpician missionary priest who came to the Territory in 1798 and almost immediately set about developing means of education for a community in which the inhabitants, we may assume, were almost wholly illiterate. He founded elementary and trade schools, imported the first printing press in the Territory, and even looked forward to an institution for instruction in the higher branches.

With the coming of Augustus A. B. Woodward as the chief justice of the Territory, after its organization in 1805, Father Richard's efforts received strong support. Woodward was a classical scholar, something of a pedant, with a tendency toward extravagant theories, and he saw in the movement toward the provision of educational facilities for the Territory an opportunity to put into effect some of his own pet ideas. He had long been engaged upon the philosophical task of dividing and subdividing human knowledge into appropriate categories and published a book on the subject in 1816. The classification of knowledge was also one of Jefferson's hobbies and it may well have been a friendship between the two men based on these ideas that led to Woodward's appointment (Isbell, p. 182).

A third figure who comes actively into the picture was the Reverend John Monteith, a young Presbyterian clergyman who had been ordained at Princeton in Page  271817 after his first visit to the Territory. It is evident that a strong friendship sprang up between him and Father Richard, for in Monteith's journal for October 28, 1816, we read, "visit Priest Richard, who is out of health. I think he loves to have me visit him" (Early Records, p. 178). The liberal spirit of these two friends is evidenced by a tradition that it was in Richard's Catholic church of St. Anne's that Monteith held the first Protestant service in Michigan. Other men of outstanding personality who had a part in the plans for the University were Lewis Cass, Governor of the Territory, afterwards candidate for the presidency of the United States, and William Woodbridge, Secretary of the Territory, who gave Richard's and Monteith's efforts effective political backing.

The result of the efforts of these men was the curiously named Catholepistemiad of Michigania, chartered by the territorial government, the governor and the judges of the Territory, on August 26, 1817. In this overwhelming title can be discerned Judge Woodward's pedantic turn of mind. He followed his system of universal knowledge as set forth in his book in the plan for a system of instruction from primary levels to a university, which was to be divided into thirteen didaxiim, to be taught by "didactors" of such teaching subjects as anthropoglossica, or literature, mathematica, or mathematics, physiosophica, or natural sciences, astronomia, or astronomy, chymia, or chemistry, iatrica, or medical sciences, polemitactica, or military sciences, and ennoeica, or intellectual sciences. The thirteenth subject was catholepistemia, or universal science, and the instructor in this subject was to be president of the University.

This is the extraordinary and bizarre side of a plan which was, as a matter of fact, a sound program for a state system of education that had, as might be expected, many elements in common with Jefferson's plan for the University of Virginia. The president and didactors were to form a governing board in control of all educational agencies of the state and empowered to charter schools and colleges. Financial support was to come from the Territory and from student fees (see Part I: Regents).

Steps were taken to put the plan into operation almost immediately; Monteith became president and sevenfold didactor, with an annual salary of $25, while Father Richard was to teach the six other subjects for $18.75 (Early Records, p. 6). On September 12, the trustees passed a series of enactments setting up primary schools in Detroit, Monroe, and Michilimackinac, and a classical academy in Detroit, including a provision for the erection of a building. Less than a month later, on October 3, a further act was passed "to establish the First College of Michigania," evidently as part of the general program for education embodied in the University or Catholepistemiad. It is significant to note that in all these early measures the institution was uniformly known as the "University of Michigania" and that only once, in a report of the meeting of the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools, held on June 11, 1818, was the term "Catholepistemiad" used officially. It is quite evident that Judge Woodward's terminology was far from popular.

The question of financing the construction of the University building was a serious one. The sum of $5,100 was quickly subscribed by residents of the Territory, though there is no evidence that it was all collected, while a contribution of $960 remaining from a fund raised for the sufferers of the fire which destroyed Detroit in 1805 was also appropriated for University purposes. The first report of Monteith, as president, in Page  28November, 1818, indicates that the cost of the building rather exceeded the amount of the first and second years' subscriptions and the donations for the fire sufferers. This would make the cost of the building a little more than $3,000. It stood on the west side of Bates Street near Congress and measured twenty-four feet by fifty feet. The first floor was used for the elementary school, while the second floor was reserved for the classical academy. Though the progress of construction was slow, Monteith's report of November 19, 1818, indicates that the classical academy had been in operation for about nine months and the primary school three months. Apparently neither of the "didactors" ever gave courses of collegiate grade.

The primary, or Lancastrian, school had been placed under the charge of Lemuel Shattuck, a native of Massachusetts, who was engaged by the Reverend John Monteith and seems to have arrived in Detroit early in June, 1818. Mr. Shattuck, who also acted as the first secretary of the Board of Trustees appointed in 1821, left Detroit at the end of that year. He won some prominence in his later years as the author of laws in Massachusetts relating to school organization and the recording of vital statistics, and as chairman of the commission to make a sanitary survey of the state. His successors in charge of the school were John Farmer (until January, 1824), later distinguished as a map maker and local historian, Ebenezer Shephard, and a Mr. Cook from Albany, who died in 1827. After that time, both schools became, practically, the private venture of the teachers in charge, and little is said about their management in the surviving records.

Hugh M. Dickie, a graduate of Jefferson College, was the first teacher of the classical academy, and began his work on February 2, 1818, in a house at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Griswold Street, pending the completion of the University building. He died on February 16, 1819, and was probably succeeded by John J. Deming, although the matter is not entirely clear. It is, however, recorded that the trustees and visitors of the academy elected Ebenezer Clapp as teacher on February 17, 1821. In that year the new Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan superseded the "University of Michigania" and dispensed with the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools, making themselves responsible for the conduct of the school. There was dissension over the proposed reappointment of Mr. Clapp in 1822, and the Reverend Alonson W. Welton became his successor (1822-24). He in turn was succeeded by Ashbel S. Wells (1824-26) and Charles C. Sears (1826-27).

On October 30, 1827, the trustees voted to discontinue financial aid to the academy, but invited the teacher to continue at his own risk. There are records of at least sporadic use of the building for school purposes after this time and prior to the first appointment of Regents in 1837. In 1830 the city of Detroit asked for the use of the rooms for the establishment of common schools, and in May, 1831, such a request was granted. In 1834 the academy building was rented to the masters of the two schools in it, John N. Bellows and D. B. Crane. The Reverend Mr. Elens took a lease of the upper room in 1836 for a classical school (Early Records, pp. 6 ff.).

The original act had provided for an increase of 15 per cent in the territorial taxes, as well as lotteries, for the support of the program. There is no evidence, however, of any resort to these methods of support, nor were plans set up for the utilization of the government lands, which, in so many states, were the impelling Page  29factor in the establishment of educational institutions, although one section had been set aside for an institution of higher education in 1804.

One contribution to the University had an important as well as a romantic significance. This was a gift from the various tribes of Indians — Wyandot, Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Chippewa — who in 1817 met Lewis Cass and General Duncan McArthur beside the rapids of the Maumee south of the present site of Toledo to negotiate a treaty for the settling of land titles. In this treaty was included a specific grant by the Indians of six sections of land to be divided equally between Father Richard's parish of St. Anne and the "college at Detroit." It may be that it was in order to qualify for this donation that the University of Michigania passed the act of October 3, establishing at Detroit the First College of Michigania. These lands were eventually allocated and sold for the benefit of the University, but the specific identity of the gift has been lost. The only definite evidences today of this interest in a white man's education on the part of the Indian peoples of Michigan are five scholarships established by the Regents in 1932 for American Indian students.

After four years of experiment Judge Woodward's original plan proved to have certain defects. These were remedied through a new charter from the territorial legislative council, which changed the official name to "the University of Michigan," and provided for a board of twenty-one trustees to hold office at the pleasure of the legislature, instead of the earlier plan for government by the faculty. This board retained the power to establish "such colleges, academies and schools … as they might deem proper" and were also empowered to grant degrees and to elect a president. Though its educational functions became increasingly attenuated, this body represented the corporate organization of the University of Michigan until the University in Ann Arbor was established in 1837. By a decision of the Supreme Court in 1856, it was held to be the corporate predecessor of the Board of Regents of the University later established in Ann Arbor (see Part I: Constitutional Status).

Without doubt the Board of Trustees appointed in 1821 included the most distinguished citizens of the Territory. They were headed by the governor, General Lewis Cass, later to be United States Senator, Secretary of War under Jackson, and Secretary of State under Buchanan. The others originally named were John Biddle, Register of the Detroit Land Office and congressional delegate in the years 1829-31; Nicholas Boilvin, Indian agent for the region; Daniel LeRoy, the first attorney general of the state; Christian Clemens, the founder of Mount Clemens; William H. Puthoff, of Michilimackinac; John Anderson, influential citizen of Monroe; John Hunt, a justice of the territorial Supreme Court, 1831-34; Father Richard and the Reverend Mr. Monteith, of Detroit; John R. Williams, first mayor of Detroit; Solomon Sibley, United States District Attorney and Judge; Henry J. Hunt, Detroit's second mayor; John L. Leib, Chief Justice of the Wayne County Court; Peter J. Desnoyers, Detroit silversmith and holder of numerous public offices; Austin E. Wing, three times territorial delegate to Congress; William Woodbridge, Secretary of Michigan Territory and later a member of the Supreme Court; Benjamin Stead, of Detroit; Philip Lecuyer, a justice of the Wayne County Court and a director of the Bank of Michigan; and Dr. William Brown, one of the earliest Americans in Detroit, very influential with the Indians, and a highly respected citizen.

Page  30Among the later members of the board were Major Jonathan Kearsley, also a mayor of Detroit and a prominent member of the Board of Regents of the University after its removal to Ann Arbor; Ross Wilkins, territorial Supreme Court and United States District Judge, also a Regent of the University; and John Norvell, United States Senator and Regent. Charles C. Trowbridge, their secretary from 1821 until 1835, became a bank president, railroad president, mayor of Detroit, and Regent.

Although the trustees of the University gave valuable aid to the educational program of Michigan in its early stages, it is likely that their activities as custodians and managers of the University lands and other properties were fully as important. Aside from the building in Detroit the institution was the beneficiary of two land grants, the first comprising three sections given to "the College of Detroit" by the treaty of Fort Meigs, and the second the federal grant for the support of a "seminary of learning," originally fixed at one township by the act of March 26, 1804, and increased by the act of May 20, 1826, to two townships. The trustees were empowered both to locate and to sell the Fort Meigs lands, but of the federal lands they had only the "control and management," and were specifically forbidden to sell them or to lease them for more than seven years.

This difference in status influenced subsequent action. The Fort Meigs lands were selected after a personal inspection by Austin E. Wing and Philip Lecuyer, and sales to individuals were made. As for federal lands, on one occasion only did the trustees dispose of any of them, in a transaction with Major William Oliver, of Ohio, which, historians have agreed, was on the whole unfortunate. It involved, first, the exchange of the University's right to two entire lots on Swan Creek, applied for but not yet granted, for other lands in the neighborhood, and later the sale back to Major Oliver of the lands received in exchange. The price was $5,000 and interest. In the interests of legality, the trustees' resolutions on the sale provided that it should be sanctioned by Congress. All of these lands were within the present boundaries of Toledo, the lots on Swan Creek, first mentioned, being in the heart of the city. Altogether the Toledo lands eventually brought only about $17,000 instead of the very much larger sum for which they could have been sold if they had been held for a longer period.

The trustees, however, were responsible in 1836 for securing congressional permission to locate the federal lands in tracts less than a full township in size and for giving the state control of their selection, administration, and even their eventual sale. This was a stroke of business which was very much to the advantage of the University, since it enabled the institution to select much more valuable areas, section by section and in various parts of the state, than could have been found in tracts the size of a full township, although it did make the administration of these lands the responsibility of the state rather than of the Regents. By 1836 all but twenty-nine sections of the University lands had been selected.

When the Board of Regents came into existence in 1837, the trustees authorized the payment of $5,249.85, with interest, the proceeds of their sale of land to Major William Oliver, to the Regents, but other actions of their final meeting, such as the decision to adjust the treasurer's accounts and invest the balance in some bank, and the giving of authority to their president pro tempore to "lease or otherwise grant" the academy lot to the Regents in order to establish a branch of the University in Detroit, Page  31clearly show that they did not regard their trusteeship as completely terminated. The decision of the Supreme Court in the action of The Regents v. The Board of Education of Detroit, in 1856, finally settled the matter and established the Regents as the lawful successors of the original corporation (see Part I: Constitutional Status).

Little more need be said of these first two incarnations of the University. When the control of the Territory by the governor and judges came to an end in 1825 and the territorial legislature was set up, the new body assumed, through the trustees, ultimate control of the institution.

In the twenty years that intervened between the first organization of a university in Detroit and the final establishment of the present University in Ann Arbor, a great change had come in the population of the state. Not only had it increased from a few thousand souls, largely French, huddled about Detroit and in a few settlements along the Detroit River and the Great Lakes, to nearly 100,000 inhabitants, scattered throughout the great forest areas of the Lower Peninsula, but this increase represented newcomers of predominantly New England background — Yankees — for the most part young, energetic, and enterprising. These settlers recognized immediately the value of education and took measures to provide for it almost from their first days in their new home.

Thus, when the question of the organization of the Territory as a state arose, the provision for schools and for a higher education became a subject for special consideration in the constitutional convention of 1835. The spirit of the new Territory was democratic and progressive, and the leaders in the convention were aware of the significance of the earlier provision for a state system of education embodied in the Detroit plan. Moreover, the two men most responsible for the educational provisions were graduates of Eastern colleges — John D. Pierce (Brown '22) and General Isaac Edwin Crary (Trinity College, Connecticut, '27). Pierce was a missionary in the service of the Presbyterian Church, and in his home in the tiny backwoods settlement of Marshall lived General Crary, with his bride. Both men were interested in public questions and gave particular thought to the development of education in the state that was in process of formation. They were familiar with the development of a state system of education in New York and undoubtedly were more or less familiar with the Napoleonic system of education in France. We also know from Pierce's own statement that a translation of M. Victor Cousin's Rapport sur l'état de l'instruction publique en Prusse impressed them with the opportunity for the development of a state system of education in Michigan. The two final sections of Cousin's Report, dealing with secondary and higher education, were not, however, included in the edition they used (Hoyt and Ford, pp. 19, 53). Crary became a member of the constitutional convention of 1835 and was made chairman of its committee on education.

The constitution called for the appointment of an officer new in the field of education, a superintendent of public instruction; it also provided for a system of common schools and the administration of the government land grants for a university. The first legislature convened on November 2, 1835, and elected Stevens T. Mason, then a young man of twenty-three and formerly Acting Governor of the Territory, as governor of the state in process of organization. No laws affecting education were passed, but during an extra session called in July, 1836, the committee on education introduced a bill recommending the appointment of a Page  32superintendent of public instruction, in accordance with the provision in the constitution, and on July 26 confirmed the Governor's appointment of John D. Pierce to that position. Pierce was directed to submit a plan for common schools and for "a university with branches" at the next session of the legislature. He immediately sold his home and spent some months in the East studying educational theories and practices (see Part I: Superintendent of Public Instruction).

The plan presented by Pierce on January 5, 1837, has been called "the most important and far-reaching document ever presented to the Michigan legislature." It carried on the broad and progressive educational policies first set forth in Judge Woodward's plan for the Catholepistemiad, but gave them a more practical and realistic form. In Pierce's scheme for a university, he defined the powers and duties of his office, and drew up a comprehensive plan for schools in the state, including branches of the University. In accordance with his suggestions, a board of eighteen Regents was created, six ex officio and twelve to be appointed by the governor, empowered to enact laws for the government of the University, appoint the prescribed number of professors and fix their salaries, erect suitable buildings, and, together with the superintendent of public instruction, establish branches in different parts of the state. The University was to consist of three departments: Literature, Science, and the Arts; Medicine; and Law. A board of visitors of five members was also to be appointed by the superintendent of public instruction to make an examination into the state of the University and report results to the superintendent, suggesting such improvements as they deemed important.

There were several communities in the state that proclaimed their advantages as locations for the future University, but the enterprise of an Ann Arbor land company in offering forty acres of land for a campus was the determining factor in the choice of the site. Practically all the Regents were residents of Detroit, and it was the necessity of choosing the actual forty acres that brought them to Ann Arbor on June 5, 1837, by stage, or possibly on horseback, for their first three-day session. The chronicle of their sessions is tantalizingly brief and summary. For some reason they chose the Rumsey farm on a hill on the outskirts of the city, back from the river, as the place for the University, instead of what would seem to us today to be the far more beautiful location offered by the Nowland farm, bordering the hills to the north, overlooking the river, originally recommended by the committee. For some years the campus remained what it was originally, a bit of farm land upon which stood one University building and four professors' residences (see Part VIII: First Buildings).

At this first meeting the Regents took preliminary steps toward the organization of the University in accordance with an action of the legislature on March 18, 1837. They passed a resolution asking the legislature for the power to elect and prescribe the duties of a chancellor o the University and to establish branches without special sanction of the legislature, indicating some uncertainty as to their powers in these matters (R.P., 1837-64, p. 2). They also asked that the governor of the state be made president of the Board. They provided for four professorships, including natural philosophy, mathematics, languages, and law; a librarian was appointed; and the superintendent of public instruction was requested to furnish an "outline of a plan for the university." An important provision in the organic act of March 18 was the creation of branches of the University, Page  33and the establishment of eight, "as soon as can conveniently be done," was ordered by the Regents on June 21.

In subsequent meetings of the Regents held in Ann Arbor, or more often, in Detroit, the outline of the future University gradually developed. An elaborate plan for buildings was drawn up by an Eastern architect, but these were finally rejected on the insistence of Pierce, since no funds were available for their construction, and the branches were absorbing all the resources of the University. In fact, the income from the state lands proved to be far below what had been expected, and the Regents were forced to borrow from the state the sum of $100,000 to meet their mounting expenses. This loan indicates that the question of financial support was serious.

The money received from the loan was used for the erection of University buildings and for the immediate support of the branches which were to provide the students for the University. Eventually, the branches tended to absorb all the University's slender income, and after 1841 the support was progressively withdrawn until it ceased altogether four years later (see Part I: Branches).

On several occasions financial difficulties almost led to the closing of the University, and the failure of two banks in 1838 which were custodians of some of the University funds precipitated a crisis which was met by an agreement on the part of the state that the depreciated warrants of the state should be taken in payment for the University lands. In turn, these warrants were supposed to be accepted in liquidation of the University's debt to the state. In addition to this adjustment the state accepted a lot in Detroit which had been received as part of the settlement with the defunct Bank of Michigan.

This friendly action on the part of the legislature reduced the loan negotiated by the University to $20,000 by 1848, and by 1852 the whole debt had thus been paid (Price, p. 23). But the point was raised that a trust fund granted by the government had been illegally and improperly diminished. The auditorgeneral was therefore directed, in 1859, to pay the University "interest on the entire amount which had been received for University lands," and this action, in effect, restored the fund. This practice was continued until 1877, when, through adjustment of the state accounting system, the $100,000 was finally added to the University fund on the books of the state, and the loan, in the end, may be regarded as a gift from the state, though this matter has been the subject of considerable controversy.

Superintendent Pierce, moreover, was firmly convinced of the value of the branches, and in his last annual report in 1841 expressed a deep conviction as to their importance in the entire school system and a belief that the University could not succeed without them. This reflected the popular view of these institutions; in fact, the people were more interested in them than they were in the University. But the Regents felt that the welfare of the University was paramount and that the institution could not be established on a firm footing as long as the branches were continued. Accordingly, in 1841, they limited the appropriations to the branches to $500, later reduced the amount to $200, and in 1846 withdrew the support altogether. While these measures were sufficient to enable the University to open its doors, its finances during the first few years were precarious and the reports of the Regents for 1842 and 1843 were gloomy. Practically the entire income of the University was absorbed in the payment of interest on the 1838 loan of $100,000.

Immediately after the University was officially established the superintendent Page  34of public instruction was authorized to sell University lands up to the amount of $500,000 at a minimum price of $20 an acre. The amount actually received from sales in 1837 was $150,447.90, an average price of $22.85 an acre. With this beginning, expectations ran high. Pierce estimated that the University would have an endowment of $1,000,000 with an annual income of $50,000, one-half to support the branches while the remaining half he considered adequate to sustain the parent institution. His estimate, excessive as it appears in the light of subsequent experience, was conservative in comparison with the popular estimate. The Ann Arbor Land Company, in a handbill advertising the lots to be sold in the neighborhood of the University, estimated a fund for the institution of $5,000,000.

These grandiose expectations were, unfortunately, not to be fulfilled. When the University lands were thrown on the market many of them proved to be occupied already by settlers, and since these squatters were voters the legislature hesitated to remove them. In 1839 pressure became so strong that the legislature enacted a law for the relief of these squatters by authorizing a sale of the University lands at $1.25 an acre. The superintendent and the Regents appealed to the governor to veto this confiscatory bill, and Mason, "the boy governor," courageously did so, stating in his message that such legislation would be fatal to the University fund.

But the legislature was composed of politicians who, not comprehending the vital bearing of this fund on the future success of the University, openly violated their pledge to maintain the price of these lands at a minimum of $20, and consequently they were sold at varying prices, some as low as $6.21 an acre. The price was fixed at $12 an acre in 1841, and made retroactive, with the result that the sum of $35,651 was actually returned to purchasers, and many years later the University received a little over half the amount estimated by Superintendent Pierce. Even so, Michigan was more fortunate in the amount realized from these government lands than were most of the other states, although the story of their administration is far from edifying.

When the last lands were sold in 1881 a total fund which now amounts to $548,744.40 remained in the hands of the treasurer of the state. This endowment, however, was absorbed in the state's general funds and has never been set aside for the exclusive use of the University. Interest is paid on it at the rate originally established, 7 per cent, and returns annually to the University between $38,000 and $39,000.

The University received no appropriations from the state until 1869, when the proceeds of the first mill tax, originally granted in 1867, became available, although the original loan of $100,000 formed in effect the first support given to the University by the state (see Part II: Financial Support).

The first buildings erected for the University on the Rumsey farm were the four houses designed to accommodate the faculty, two on each side of the campus, of which one survives as the president's house. The others were removed eventually to make place for the Chemistry and Natural Science buildings on the north side and the Clements Library on the south side. The single University building first authorized by the Regents was not completed until the fall of 1841, a tall, gaunt structure with only a few struggling trees about it. It is now known as Mason Hall and forms the old North Wing of the present University Hall. This single building provided recitation rooms, a chapel, a library, the "cabinet," as the University Page  35Museum was known in the early days, and accommodations for students.

The first step toward a library was made in 1838, when the Regents made an appropriation of $5,000 to be used by the distinguished botanist, Asa Gray, for the purchase of books while he was in Europe. The result was a collection of 3,700 volumes. Gray was the first man to be appointed to the faculty, although he never taught in the University and soon became a member of the Harvard faculty. The first accessions were the six volumes of Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, a gift from a fur trader of the Upper Peninsula, and a purchase of Audubon's famous Birds of America, both of which the University still possesses.

The Museum was inaugurated with the purchase of a cabinet of minerals collected by Baron Lederer, later supplemented by collections from the distinguished geologist, Douglass Houghton, the second man to be appointed to the faculty. He never held regular classes in the University, but met an untimely death by drowning in Lake Superior in 1845.

As a matter of fact, the University had apparently been considered as the custodian of the scientific collections of the state almost from the beginning, and in an act of May 11, 1846, the legislature provided that "the various specimens of geology, mineralogy, zoology, botany and all other specimens pertaining to natural history belonging to the state and now deposited in the University buildings be … transferred to the Board of Regents of the University."

Moreover, many of the first gifts to the University from its supporters throughout the state, and eventually from the alumni, were in the form of contributions to the Library and Museum (see Part I: Gifts).

Seven students presented themselves at the University in September, 1841, six freshmen and one sophomore. The five known freshmen were: Judson D. Collins, Lyndon; Merchant H. Good-rich, Ann Arbor; Lyman D. Norris, Ypsilanti; George E. Parmelee, Ann Arbor; and George W. Pray, Superior; the sophomore was William B. Wesson, Detroit. They were greeted by a faculty of two: the Reverend George Palmer Williams, an Episcopalian, formerly the head of the Pontiac branch, who taught mathematics and later, natural science; and the Reverend Joseph Whiting, a Presbyterian, Professor of Greek and Latin Languages.

The distribution of the professorships among different denominations was also carried out in the appointment of the librarian, Henry Colcazer, a Methodist clergyman. This practice of denominational representation was not always followed, for Abram Sager, appointed Professor of Zoology and Botany in 1842, who was later to head the faculty of the Medical School, was named on the basis of his scientific attainments. Edward Thompson, however, who came as Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy in 1843, was a Methodist, and Andrew Ten Brook, who followed him in the same professorship in 1844, was a Baptist. Dr. Silas H. Douglass, who was appointed the same year as an assistant to the professor of chemistry and succeeded to the professorship in 1846, was apparently appointed solely on the basis of his scientific qualifications, although thirty years later the fires of sectarian controversy were to rage around his head. Upon the death of Professor Whiting in 1845 another Presbyterian, John Holmes Agnew, was chosen to take his place, while the Reverend Daniel B. Whedon, a Methodist, became Professor of Logic, Rhetoric, and History in 1845.

Throughout the University's first years the Regents took no steps to appoint a president, and each member of the Page  36faculty, following the Prussian rectorial system, served in turn for one year, possibly to avoid giving too much influence to any one religious persuasion. This system imposed heavy responsibilities upon the small and overworked faculty and was a factor which contributed to the difficulties of the University's first decade.

The gradual growth of the faculty was paralleled by a similar modest expansion of the student body. Two years after the University was founded there were fifty-three students, and in 1847 eighty-nine were enrolled, although the number dropped to seventy-two two years later. But in 1850-51 the number rose to 159, when the Department of Medicine and Surgery was opened, and the facilities of the institution were increased by the erection of a second building exactly like the first, which now forms the South Wing of University Hall.

The program of studies followed by this little group of students was in most respects similar to the current curriculum of the older colleges in the East, which in turn were directly derived from the courses pursued in the medieval European universities. The classics, logic, rhetoric, and religious philosophy were the main subjects, with history at first only ancient history.

Michigan, nevertheless, made several significant departures from this time-honored program. Courses in modern languages were quickly inaugurated and a professor of modern languages and literatures, Louis Fasquelle, was appointed in 1846. The early appointment of Dr. Sager and Dr. Douglass to teach the sciences also was a significant departure from current educational practice. This broadening of the curriculum, which seems in truth very slight today, indicated that the emphasis of the college training for the youth of Michigan was not to be entirely for the ministry. Moreover, in the first plans for the University the establishment of professional schools was foreshadowed, and in thus increasing the scope of instruction offered, the little institution was laying the foundations for its subsequent development as a university in fact as well as in name.

Although instruction in medicine and law had been foreshadowed in the first plans for the University, it was not until 1850 that a department of medicine was opened, and not until ten years later was instruction in law offered. The Medical Department came as the result of a memorandum submitted in 1847 to the Regents by Dr. Abram Sager, at that time Professor of Zoology and Botany, and Dr. Silas H. Douglass, Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology, and strongly supported by Dr. Zina Pitcher, a member of the Board. Dr. Sager and Dr. Douglass became the first two members of the medical faculty. The erection of a medical building was begun in 1848 on the east side of the campus under the supervision of Dr. Douglass, who was at that time Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds (see Part V: Medical School).

College life in those days was pursued under what would appear today a Spartan regime, although life for the students was no harder in Ann Arbor than in most of their farm homes. They were expected to procure their own wood from a woodpile behind the campus and to take care of their own rooms, for which they paid the University the munificent sum of $10 a year, including tuition fees. Chapel exercises were held from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning to avoid the expense of illumination. Meals were secured from various Ann Arbor residents near the campus, who charged the students from $1.50 to $2.00 a week (see Part IX: Student Enrollment and Fees and Expenses).

Page  37In many ways the first ten years were a critical period in the University's history. Despite the tradition established as far back as 1817 and re-enacted in the new state constitution, emphasizing the character of the new University as a state institution, this public responsibility was not always recognized. The state, aside from its first loan to the institution, recognized no financial obligation toward it, while strong church bodies endeavored, although in vain, to control policies. The lack of sufficient funds, which kept faculty salaries at a starvation point, as well as intrafaculty rivalries, resulted in a long series of dissensions which disclosed very apparent weaknesses not to be remedied until President Tappan took the reins in 1852.

In recounting the difficulties of that period Professor Ten Brook spoke from personal memories when he said (p. 185): "There was nowhere any enthusiastic, or even hopeful feeling in regard to the University." Nevertheless, it is probable that the attendance, slender as it may appear today, was actually all that could be expected in that early period. The people of Michigan were, for the most part, bitterly poor and engaged in a heroic struggle with the half-conquered wilderness around them, and only a few had time or the means to think of higher education. Under these circumstances the gradual expansion of the University's facilities and student attendance can only be considered an evidence of the underlying strength and vitality of the principles upon which the University had been established.

Despite the simplicity of student life, college fraternities, which had been developing rapidly in the Eastern colleges, came to Michigan almost immediately; in fact, tradition has it that the first building devoted to fraternity uses was built in Ann Arbor by the Chi Psi fraternity in 1843. It stood in the woods east of the campus near the present Forest Hills Cemetery. These organizations from the first year were looked upon with disfavor by the faculty, as undemocratic and exclusive, as well as leading to student excesses and depredations.

The faculty eventually took strong measures against the fraternities and finally insisted on their discontinuance, but the students refused to accept the ruling and contested the jurisdiction of the Regents and faculty. The struggle assumed statewide proportions by 1848, with the legislature and the community of Ann Arbor deeply involved. The result was the expulsion of the members of the leading fraternities, most of whom left the University never to return. This summary action by no means ended the struggle, and in the final result the fraternities were reinstated. In essentials, the whole question was a struggle between the paternalistic and parochial attitude of a narrow, clerically-minded faculty and the self-reliant, individualistic, strongly democratic youth of the period (see Part IX: Fraternities).

There were several vigorous and even aggressive personalities included among the members of the early faculty — Dr. Whedon, particularly, was a center of disturbance. A strong abolitionist, his advocacy of what he called the "higher law" brought him into disfavor with some of his colleagues as well as people of the state.

These disputes within the faculty and between the students and the faculty became so acute that Professor Andrew Ten Brook felt compelled to resign. The terms of three other professors — Whedon, Agnew, and Williams — were ended by the last appointive Board in 1851, just before it was succeeded by the first Board of Regents elected under the provisions of the Constitution of 1850. How much this drastic action was due to the sectarian influence within the faculty Page  38and how much was a real effort to bring about a new regime in University matters is difficult to determine, but the final result was a new period of development and growth which has continued from that day to the present time.

One of the members of the faculty who had been removed was at once reappointed — Professor Williams. Professor Ten Brook, whose resignation had precipitated the struggle, returned to the University thirteen years later as Librarian of the University and its first historian. The other new appointments to the faculty were: James R. Boise, Professor of Greek Language and Literature, and the Reverend Erastus O. Haven, Professor of the Latin Language and Literature.

The new president, Henry P. Tappan, assumed the professorship of intellectual and moral philosophy. His appointment was the result of a growing feeling within the state that all was not well with the University and that a strong hand was needed to guide its policies. Accordingly, in the new constitution passed by the convention of 1850, the appointment of a president was made mandatory upon the Regents (see Part I: Tappan Administration).


Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hoyt, C. L., , and R. Clyde Ford. John D. Pierce, Founder of the Michigan School System … Ypsilanti, Mich., 1905.
Isbell, Egbert R."The Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania." In: University of Michigan Historical Essays. Ed. by A. E. R. Boak. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Press, 1937. Pp. 159-82.
McLaughlin, Andrew C., and Others. "History of Higher Education in Michigan."U. S. Bur. Ed., Circ. Information (Contrib. Amer. Ed. Hist., No. 11), 1891, No. 4: 1-179.
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1835.
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1850.
Michigan. Laws [of the Session of …] 1835-52.
Michigan. Laws of the Territory of … Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1871-84. 4 vols.
Price, Richard R."The Financial Support of the University of Michigan: Its Origin and Development."Harvard Bull. Ed., No. 8 (1923): 1-58.
MS, "Records of the Faculty … [Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts]," Univ. Mich., 1846-58. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837. Ed. by Frank E. Robbins. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1935. (Early Records.)
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Michigan, 1836-52.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Ten Brook, Andrew. American State Universities: Their Origin and Progress. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co., 1875.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
University of Michigan. 1837-1887.The Semicentennial Celebration … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1888.
Page  39


PERHAPS no single eleven-year period in the history of the University of Michigan is more significant than that of the administration of Henry Philip Tappan, first president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. To him the University owes many of the progressive ideas upon which its subsequent prominence as a great educational institution rests. During his administration the Department of Civil Engineering was formed, the Law School was begun, and the Graduate School was first conceived; yet the greatest of all his contributions was his conception of what the University as a whole should strive to become.

Until Tappan was elected president, in August, 1852, the University blundered along without a chief executive officer. Previous to that time a president of the faculty had been elected annually to preside over the faculty and to supervise those duties which fell to the professors; the Board of Regents had had as its presiding officer the governor of the state. This loose organization had numerous defects, among others the lack of a concentrated authority. Realizing the need for reform, the framers of the Constitution of 1850 provided for the popular election of the Regents for a term of six years and for the selection by the Regents of "a President of the University, who shall be ex-officio a member of their Board, with the privilege of speaking, but not of voting. He shall preside at the meetings of the Regents and be the principal executive officer of the University."

The appointive Board of Regents which went out of office on January 1, 1852, postponed action on the election of a president, and the responsibility therefore fell on the newly elected Regents: Michael A. Patterson of Tecumseh, Edward Shaw Moore of Three Rivers, James Kingsley of Ann Arbor, Elisha Ely of Allegan, Charles Henry Palmer of Romeo, Andrew Parsons of Corunna, William Upjohn of Hastings, and Elon Farnsworth of Detroit. One of the first acts of this Board was the appointment of a committee, consisting of Regents Palmer, Farnsworth, and Kingsley, to correspond with persons suitable for appointment to the presidency. The committee worked on the question until August 12, 1852, when Henry Philip Tappan was elected.

Previous to the election of Tappan the chair had been declined by Henry Barnard, a New England educator of note, and by the Reverend William Adams, a Presbyterian clergyman of New York City (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 518, 520). Tappan's appointment is said to have been due to the skillful management of the chairman of the committee, Regent Palmer. After a visit East, Palmer had returned to Michigan with the intention of recommending Tappan for the presidency. The suggestion had come from George Bancroft, the historian (Ten Brook, p. 232). Before Regent Palmer could suggest Tappan's name in a Board meeting, the rumor spread that Tappan had once employed a homeopathic physician, and the opposition became so great that it was impossible even to present his name. Although the Board had undoubtedly been sincere in offering the position to Henry Barnard, it is said that Regent Palmer had proposed Adams merely in order to delay matters, since he knew that Adams would be unable to Page  40accept the position (Farrand, pp. 92-94). Whatever the truth of these beliefs, the minutes of the Board of Regents for August 9-12, 1852, give evidence that an extended conference was necessary before Tappan was elected. Four times the Board adjourned to meet again for the purpose of discussing the presidency, but finally, on August 12, Tappan was named by five Regents, and John H. Lathrop, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, by three. Tappan was declared unanimously elected, and met with the Regents at their December meeting.

The opposition to Tappan which preceded his election did not die down for some time. Fired with enthusiasm for the work of building up a great educational institution in the West on the basis of the Prussian ideal, he regarded himself somewhat as a missionary to an uncultured frontier area. This attitude he did not sufficiently hide, and the opposition which began even before his appointment grew after his arrival. It subsided somewhat during the first years of his presidency, but never actually disappeared. Though he was to find it possible to try out his educational philosophy in this new state university, the experience was in some respects an unhappy one for him.

Henry Philip Tappan was a philosopher of no small reputation at the time when he was offered the presidency of the University of Michigan. He had already made a name for himself by his writings on the freedom of the will, including such works as Review of Edwards' Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will, The Doctrine of the Will Determined by an Appeal to Consciousness, The Doctrine of the Will Applied to Moral Agency and Responsibility, and The Elements of Logic. These works had called forth favorable comment from both European and American scholars, including Victor Cousin, whom Tappan respected and whose precepts he followed (Perry, pp. 55-165).

The great respect which Tappan had for Victor Cousin undoubtedly operated as a powerful cause for Tappan's willingness to come to this Western outpost as president of a state university. The founders of the Michigan educational system, Isaac E. Crary and John D. Pierce, had attempted to model the public system of education in Michigan somewhat on the Prussian system as it is explained in Cousin's Report on the State of Public Instruction in Prussia(see Part I: Early History). An idea of the strong influence of the Prussian system upon the educational plan of the state previous to Tappan's administration is conveyed by the book, System of Public Instruction and Primary School Law of Michigan …, prepared as an official state publication in 1852 by Francis W. Shearman, Superintendent of Public Instruction. That Michigan already had legislative and constitutional provisions based partially on the Prussian idea must have influenced Tappan in his decision to leave the East. His ideas on a system of public instruction, as expressed in his various reports and addresses, elaborate in a constructive and farseeing manner the principles laid down by John D. Pierce in his reports as superintendent of public instruction.

Like Pierce, Tappan believed in a coordinated system of instruction, with a university at the apex and primary grades at the base, and by his observation of the development of education he was convinced that the way to build such a system was first to establish the higher institution and then to found and strengthen the lower schools as the influence of scholarly administrators gradually spread from the few to the many (R.P., 1837-64, p. 655). To Tappan's mind a university was not merely an institution providing four-year courses ending Page  41with the bachelor's degree and with professional schools attached. He wrote:

[A university is] a collection of finished scholars in every department of human knowledge, associated for the purposes of advancing and communicating knowledge. To accomplish these purposes they gather around them books on all subjects without any limit, specimens of art, specimens of natural history, apparatus for illustrating the laws of nature, and for prying into her secrets; in fine, whatever may aid them in thought, investigation, and discovery, and in making known the results of their labors. Living together they aid and stimulate each other. They form a centre of light, and irradiate it far and wide for the glory of their country, and for the good of mankind. They create an atmosphere filled with inspirations to thought, research, and culture. Young men who have passed through the intermediate grade, and, hence, who have learned the art, and formed the habits of study, resort to them to hear their lectures, to breathe their spirit, to copy their example, and to submit themselves to their guidance.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 654.)

Tappan's ideal of what a university should be naturally prompted him to promote at the University of Michigan reforms which would bring nearer realization the university he conceived. In discussing his efforts to develop at Ann Arbor his ideal university, it seems wisest to divide his eleven-year administration into two distinct periods: the years 1852-57, under the first popularly elected Board of Regents, and the years 1858-63, under the second elected Board.

The first period, 1852-57. — The Regents who took office in 1852 found at Ann Arbor an institution still young and undeveloped. On the forty-acre campus were two dormitory and recitation buildings, called North College and South College, a medical building, and four professors' residences (see Part VIII: First Buildings). Both faculty and student body were small. According to the Catalogue for 1851-52, there were 6 professors and 57 students in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts; in the Department of Medicine and Surgery, as shown by its separate announcements for 1851-52 and 1852-53, there were 5 professors and 157 students. There was, indeed, much room for growth.

From its predecessor the new Board inherited some difficult problems which demanded immediate attention. The previous Board, in order to settle difficulties among the members of the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, had passed a resolution terminating the connection of three members of that faculty with the University. The new Board, soon after taking office, asked the dismissed professors whether or not they wished to resume their positions. Of the three only Professor Williams remained.

The next problem taken up by the Regents was the settlement of financial difficulties. In 1852 the University owed a debt of $12,761.98, besides $100,000.00, which had been obtained on state credit by the issue of "state stock" certificates. Since the former sum exceeded the annual income from the University interest fund, the new Board was faced with the task of adopting immediately some plan for the maintenance of the credit of the institution. It was therefore decided to consolidate the debt at 7 per cent interest, the principal payable in three years. This made possible the immediate payment of the University's creditors and left free the income from the University interest fund to meet current expenses. Also, the Regents prevailed upon the state government to turn over to the Board the income from the "Michigan University state stock" certificates; this money, applied to the consolidated debt, made possible the payment of the debt some time before it was due (see Part I: Early History).

Page  42Having settled the pressing problems arising from previous regental administrations, the Board turned to new fields, following the leadership of the newly appointed President. The members of the Board were, on the whole, well-educated and cultured gentlemen who recognized the ability of President Tappan and gave him almost a free rein, checking him tactfully when the interests of others demanded it. This wholehearted, broadminded support made it possible for Tappan to inaugurate movements which he considered essential to the development of the University.

Shortly after Tappan took office, he was approached by Henry N. Walker of Detroit and asked what could be done to aid the University. Tappan proposed that citizens of Detroit raise funds for an astronomical observatory. This was done, and the observatory in Ann Arbor was accordingly called the Detroit Observatory in their honor. Walker donated money for the transit instrument. In order to assure the purchase of fine instruments, Tappan arranged for their construction at New York and Berlin. The transit instrument was purchased in Berlin with the advice of J. F. Encke, Director of the Royal Observatory, and of his assistant, Francis Brünnow. The acquaintance made with Brünnow at this time proved to be a valuable one both for the University and for Tappan.

When the Board of Regents was seeking to fill the position of director of the observatory and professor of astronomy, Tappan suggested the appointment of Brünnow, the office having been declined by two of America's foremost astronomers, W. A. Norton of Yale and B. A. Gould of Boston. Brünnow's appointment was a fortunate one for the University, since he contributed much to the early reputation of the Detroit Observatory and trained one of Michigan's most outstanding graduates, James Craig Watson. Tappan's own interest in Brünnow was increased when his only daughter married Brünnow, and the President became, as he says, "thus wedded to the Observatory." Probably no other division of the University held such great interest for him as the Department of Astronomy and the Observatory. He had been chiefly instrumental in bringing about the construction of the Observatory, had purchased the instruments, and had chosen the director. These matters are recounted in his interesting "Review" of his administration (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 1119-66, particularly pp. 1124-32).

Tappan's definition of a university listed as essential "books on all subjects without any limit, specimens of art, specimens of natural history, apparatus for illustrating the laws of nature and for prying into her secrets." He therefore set out to increase the Library and Museum collections of the University. He was ably aided in this movement by several professors and other friends of the University, who donated collections of various kinds, and by the citizens of Ann Arbor and the Board of Regents, who made available funds for the purchase of books.

The President encouraged the citizens of Ann Arbor to contribute funds for the purchase of additional volumes for the University Library, and in his report for 1854 he was able to announce an increase from 4,500 to 5,700 books, the additional 1,200 having been acquired largely from funds donated by the citizens of Ann Arbor. The appropriations made by the Regents for the purchase of books were somewhat increased. In 1855 Tappan stated that the library contained about 6,000 volumes. This was far short of his goal of 20,000 volumes, but the increase in number of books that year was greater than that in any year since Page  43the purchase of the original library by Asa Gray.

The growth of the various museum collections was due largely to the interest of the professors in charge of the several departments. The collection and arrangement of natural-history specimens had, from the earliest days, been encouraged by Douglass Houghton and Abram Sager (Winchell, Report, pp. 3-4), and under the care of Alexander Winchell, the collections were extensively developed. A museum of fine arts was brought into existence by the active efforts of Henry Simmons Frieze, Professor of Latin Language and Literature. The small art collection which he brought together was soon supplemented by gifts from President Tappan, Professor Andrew D. White, and others.

The quarters for the Library and Museum of the University were enlarged considerably by the abolition of the dormitory system and the remodeling of the North College and South College buildings. These buildings had originally been constructed for both dormitory and recitation purposes, as was the custom in all Eastern colleges. Tappan advised that students should live with private families where they would be subject to home influences. His suggestion and the need for additional room for recitations and for the Library and Museum led, in 1856, to the abolition of the dormitory system. North College (Mason Hall) was altered to house the Library and Museum collections. Additional quarters for both class and laboratory work were provided by the erection of the Chemical Laboratory in 1856.

The smallness of the faculty at the time when Tappan became President gave him the opportunity, through enlarging it, to apply another of his principles: that the chief factor to be considered in choosing a professor was his qualification for the position. Dr. Zina Pitcher points out that in the preceding phase of the University administration, when there was no president, the policy of the Board of Regents had been to keep an even balance among the various Protestant denominations in the appointment of faculty members (Public Instruction, pp. 315-16). According to Tappan's "Review," Erastus Otis Haven, a Methodist clergyman, who was elected Professor of Latin Language and Literature in December, 1852, shortly after Tappan's arrival, was the last appointee to be selected on the basis of his religious affiliation. In the appointment of Brünnow as Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory, merit only was the deciding factor. Through Tappan, the Board of Regents had offered the position to him in spite of opposition to the importation of a foreign scholar.

As pointed out in his "Review" (pp. 1127, 1145), Tappan devised a plan for drawing scholars of reputation to the University faculty. To fill vacancies arising in emergency, he selected young men, chiefly from among alumni of the University, and appointed them to assistant professorships, thus making it possible to delay the appointment of full professors until the right men could be obtained. This plan was the cause of much ill feeling on the part of some members of the faculty — particularly the assistant professors, who felt that their own interests were sacrificed by the election to full professorships of notable scholars from outside. Unfortunately, this antagonism increased rather than decreased as Tappan's administration continued.

It was natural that Tappan's efforts to create a university to fit his own definition should lead to numerous changes in the course of study. Previous to his appointment, the legislature provided for the establishment of "a course or courses of study in the University, for such students as may not desire to Page  44pursue the usual collegiate course, in the department of literature, science, and the arts, embracing the ancient languages.…" (Bylaws, 1861, pp. 5-6.) In the Catalogue for 1852-53 provision was made for additional courses, including a new scientific course and the partial course, which was begun for the benefit of those who wished to take some of the classical or scientific courses but who did not care to become candidates for a degree. Courses in analytical and agricultural chemistry and in civil engineering could be taken on the partial course. Although the scientific course as outlined in 1852 included instruction in civil engineering, this course was not fully elaborated until 1855, and the degree of civil engineer was not granted until 1860. These revisions allowed students who desired to graduate to choose between the course of study leading to the bachelor of arts degree and that leading toward the degree of bachelor of science, or, later, the degree of civil engineer (see Part VII: College of Engineering). The requirements within each curriculum remained fairly rigid.

Tappan also attempted to establish an agricultural course in the University, but, although some teaching was done, his efforts in this direction were not successful. In 1853 the Reverend Charles Fox, editor of the Farmer's Companion, gave a course of lectures on theoretical and practical agriculture. In 1854 he was appointed Professor of Agriculture, but his death in July, 1854, temporarily ended plans for the teaching of agriculture. Although efforts were made in 1858 and 1859 to establish an agricultural farm, these too ended in failure (Winchell, MS, "Diary," July 25, 1854).

Perhaps no part of his plan for making the University of Michigan a true university was of greater significance to President Tappan than the idea of establishing a so-called "university course" for graduate work. This course, as announced in the Catalogue of 1853-54, was to consist of lectures on philosophy; history and political economy; logic; ethics and evidences of Christianity; the law of nature, the law of nations, constitutional law; higher mathematics; astronomy; physics; chemistry; natural history; philology; Greek language and literature; Latin language and literature; Oriental languages; English language and literature; modern literature; rhetoric and criticism; history of fine arts; and the arts of design. When his first annual report was printed, President Tappan added a proposed plan for the establishment of a course of "university lectures." Soon thereafter the university course was partially in operation, and by 1859 advanced degrees upon examination were granted.

In reading over a list of the accomplishments of the first years of Tappan's administration one might consider the time to have been one of prosperity and peace. It was not. During those years conflicts were begun which were to continue for a long time and which more than once threatened to injure the University permanently.

No small factor in the development of the conflicts within the University was Tappan's personality. His attitude when he came West was that of many Easterners of his day; he considered Michigan a frontier area, uncultured, uncouth. The legend spread that Mrs. Tappan had once remarked to a group of Michigan women that she and Dr. Tappan considered themselves "missionaries to the West," and whether the story was true or not, it caused much annoyance on the part of the citizens of the Tappans' adopted state (White, I: 279). Tappan's appearance likewise seemed to count against him. His fine physique and stately, haughty bearing caused awe and admiration on the part of the students Page  45but resentment on the part of those whose friendship it was essential that he should keep. Legislators, Regents, and faculty members often felt themselves snubbed. Many of the professors began to take sides either for or against Tappan, and friction inevitably resulted.

No faculty member was more bitter in his feeling toward Tappan than Alexander Winchell, Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering from 1853 to 1855 and Professor of Geology, Zoology, and Botany for the remainder of Tappan's administration and for some time thereafter. About eighteen months after his arrival in Ann Arbor, Winchell had remarked in the presence of Joseph H. Vance, then Acting Librarian, that the faculty was dissatisfied with the President's management of the library funds. Vance, who was close to Tappan in the early days of his administration, repeated the information to the President, as is attested by Tappan's "Review" (p. 1125) as well as by a manuscript in the Alexander Winchell Papers entitled, "Statements of Professor A. Winchell Touching His Relations with the President of the University. Designed for the Individual Information of Members of the Board of Regents" (Dec. 30, 1856). From then on both Tappan and Winchell took advantage of every opportunity to antagonize each other. In one instance at least, the interests of the University were sacrificed because of the personal antagonism between Winchell and Tappan.

In September, 1857, at the meeting of the Detroit Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Port Huron, resolutions were introduced condemning the moral condition at the University. That the condemnatory resolutions were without question partly instigated by Winchell is clear from the following extract from his diary:

… The Report of the Committee on Education, in speaking of the University severely denounce[d] Tappan for his lack of interest in the moral and religious condition of the institution, for his discouraging prayer meetings among the students & dispensing with public evening prayers. This was a responsible step & I think a right one. It will be a severe blow to Tappan. This part of the report was framed under my instigation. I am bound Tappan shall feel keenly the effects of his persecution of me.

(Winchell, MS, "Diary," Sept. 10, 1857.)
The resolutions which openly condemned Tappan were not published in the Minutes of the Detroit Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which included the eastern half of the state; however, there appeared in these Minutes a more general statement (quoted in R.P., 1837-64, p. 701) which made no mention of Tappan but stated: "We are sorry to say that many of its [the University's] friends have their fears that its moral and religious condition is such as greatly to impair its usefulness." Winchell tells of the change of plans in his diary under date of October 12:

Was called on by Rev. T. C. Gardner who gave me a copy of the minutes of the Methodist Conference at Port Huron and vexed me by the information that the publishing committee had taken the responsibility through timidity of omitting those passages in the education report which reflected so severely upon Dr. Tappan. I had build [sic] many expectations upon the formal expression of condemnation by the conference & I feel much chagrinned that the weakness of 3 men should defeat the solemn intentions of three score.

A more pointed resolution was passed by the Michigan Conference, the Methodist conference for the western half of the state, at its meeting at Lansing, September 16, 1857. These resolutions were prompted in part by the strong sectarian opposition to the University throughout the state — an opposition which naturally resulted from the efforts of the various Page  46religious groups to maintain denominational colleges in the state more or less in competition with the University. Since the earliest days of the University in Ann Arbor sectarian opposition had threatened to prove seriously detrimental (White, I: 279). Tappan's desire to eliminate the religious element as a factor in the appointment of professors, together with his own lack of sectarian bias, provided ample opportunity for criticism during a period when religious prejudices were strong. Although he was a Presbyterian clergyman, he frequently attended other churches in Ann Arbor. His "lack of loyalty" to his own church won him no friends in the other denominations and lost him many in his own.

Excerpts from Winchell's diary show how strong the feeling was between himself and the President. A conflict also arose between Winchell and Silas H. Douglass, Professor of Chemistry and Tappan's closest friend on the faculty. This conflict likewise played an important part in the story of Tappan's administration. Douglass was naturally allied to Tappan, if for no other reason, because of a dislike for Winchell arising from a well-grounded fear that he would try to obtain a professorship of chemistry (Winchell, MS, "Diary," Oct. 29, 1854). Andrew D. White, in his Autobiography, stated: "[Tappan] was drawn into a quarrel not his own, between two scientific professors. This quarrel became exceedingly virulent; at times it almost paralyzed the university, and finally it convulsed the State" (I: 279). In all points at issue Tappan backed Douglass against Winchell, and cliques were formed within the faculty. In a letter to Erastus Otis Haven written in June, 1859, Winchell stated that "Profs Boise, Fasquelle & White are, with me, the objects of his [Tappan's] special suspicion. Prof Frieze votes with them in Faculty meetings." White's testimony, however, was: "A small number of us, including Judge Cooley and Professors Frieze, Fasquelle, Boise, and myself, simply maintained an 'armed neutrality.'"

Much of the feeling against Tappan on the part of the faculty resulted from his desire to determine policies largely without faculty aid. This attitude was bound to meet with opposition from a group which had, previous to his appointment, controlled matters since delegated to the president. Regardless of the fact that the faculty had not always made the best use of the power which had been previously assigned to it, the assumption of its major functions naturally caused resentment.

The strongest feeling seems to have arisen over the question of the purchase of books for the Library. It had been customary for members of the faculty to submit lists of the books which they would like to have purchased. Tappan was accused — for example, in a manuscript "Statement Drawn Up by A. Winchell at the Request of Regent McIntyre …," January 29, 1861 — of disregarding the lists submitted by the faculty and of purchasing instead books of his own and of the librarian's choice. The fact that the office of librarian was held by Tappan's son, John, did not ease the minds of those who were aroused over the issue. Although Tappan probably chose wisely, the faculty resented having its lists of recommended works disregarded.

Opposition to Tappan on the part of some members of the faculty was shared by many of the citizens of the state as well as by some of the legislators, although the outward hostility died down after 1855. Unfortunately, Tappan had been inaugurated by Regent Palmer as President and Chancellor (R.S.P.I., 1854, pp. 87-88), and the adoption of the title "Chancellor," together with Tappan's admiration for the Prussian system, led Page  47to hostile attacks on all sides. The censure of the University by the two annual conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Michigan likewise led to criticism of Tappan's administration. Results of the popular antagonism were inevitably felt in the legislature, and Tappan was unable to obtain the financial aid which he sought (White, I: 278-79).

The struggle within the faculty and the petty criticisms throughout the state indicate some of the forces which were undermining the apparent prosperity of the University even during the period 1852-58. It is difficult to reconstruct the picture in its true proportions and determine the varied forms which the dissensions took, but certain it is that the opposition to Tappan was not a sudden, uncalled-for show of power on the part of some members of the Board which took office in 1858.

The second period, 1858-63. — The Board of Regents elected to take office in 1858 was composed of Benjamin L. Baxter, J. Eastman Johnson, Levi Bishop, Donald McIntyre, Ebenezer Lakin Brown, George W. Pack, Luke H. Parsons, William M. Ferry, George Bradley, and John Van Vleck. Pack failed to qualify, and Henry Whiting took his place; Van Vleck resigned almost immediately, and was succeeded by Oliver L. Spaulding; Regent Parsons died in 1862. Of this group at least three determined from the very beginning to alter the government of the University as established under the preceding Board. It is interesting to speculate just how much influence the anti-Tappan group in the faculty exerted, when one reads a passage like the following, entered by Winchell in his diary under date of January 2, 1858:

Yesterday the new Board of Regents came into office. Six of the eight were here. They seem to be wide awake to the importance of avoiding the domination of one man. Parsons & McIntyre in conversation agreed that it was wrong that a member of the Faculty should be president of their Board and thus overawe their deliberations. They thought they should have frequent occasion to withdraw to "committee room." Bishop told me the same thing & stated that it was their intention to derive matters of fact from professors when they were the parties principally interested. McIntyre said they should consult the professors privately & not in the presence of Tappan …

Such an attitude on the part of some of the new Regents was bound to create considerable friction. Their determination that the government of University affairs should be in the hands of the Board led them to investigate a great many questions of University procedure. A study of the minutes of the first meeting indicates the thoroughness with which at least certain members of the Board intended to go into problems before them — an attitude which the public naturally construed as uncomplimentary to the last Board and to the President. Not one of the preceding Board had been re-elected, and this may have been interpreted by the new Regents as popular dissatisfaction with the policies followed by that Board. One is inclined to believe, however, that the chief difficulty lay in the reforming zeal of some of the new members of the Board, and particularly of the member from Detroit, Levi Bishop.

Bishop was exactly the type of man who would be most antagonized by a person of President Tappan's disposition. Bishop was a self-made man who wished to dominate. He liked a good fight, and he liked publicity. Although an Easterner by birth, he resented evidences of the Eastern culture which Tappan represented. Even from the first his attitude was unfriendly to Tappan, and there is evidence that by the end of two years he Page  48was already deciding who Tappan's successor should be (Winchell, letter to Haven, June 1, 1859, MS, "Letter Press Book," I: 312-13).

Bishop was able to draw support on some issues from other members of the Board, chiefly Luke H. Parsons and Donald McIntyre, the resident Regent. According to Tappan, McIntyre became the real executive of the University so far as the Regents were concerned. His business office in Ann Arbor was the business office of the University, and members of the faculty went to him with their problems (Tappan, "Review," pp. 1162-63).

The Board of Regents which served from 1858 to 1863 contributed much to the material prosperity of the University. The Law School was put into operation in October, 1859, with three of Michigan's jurists as the professors — James V. Campbell, Charles I. Walker, and Thomas M. Cooley. In 1862 there was constructed a law building in which the Department of Law, Law Library, and General Library were housed. Both a law library and a medical library were established by this Board, and an addition of more than seven thousand volumes was made to the General Library collection. A chair of military engineering and tactics was established, but no able man was found to fill the place, because of the need for military officers in active duty during the Civil War. Additions to the museums continued, the most notable gift being that made by former Professor William P. Trowbridge and the Smithsonian Institution. This collection, according to Winchell's formal report of 1863, consisted of 1,581 specimens, chiefly of mammals, birds, and reptiles (Report, pp. 9, 17).

Several questions which were destined to become important to the University in after years were considered by this Board, and lengthy reports were made. The questions included the admission of women, the establishment of a chair of homeopathy, and the removal of the Department of Medicine and Surgery to Detroit. The Board determined against these measures despite strong pressure for their adoption (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 1114-15).

The second period of the Tappan administration was, like the first, a time of growth and material accomplishment in the University, but the lack of peace and harmony was much more obvious than it had been in the first five years. There was not even the outward appearance of calm. Under the encouragement of certain Regents who were determined to curb Tappan, opposition to him which in the earlier years might have remained unexpressed became articulate, and the conflict became an open one.

The issue which brought the struggle to a head was the revision of the bylaws by the Board of Regents. Not long after the new Board took office there was a conflict between the President and the Regent from Detroit. In presenting his annual report for 1858, the President stated that he had, temporarily and in the absence of the Board, appointed an assistant to Professor Williams. Regent Bishop, at the Board's meeting on December 21, stated:

It was an act wholly unauthorized by any vote or precedent of the Board, and placed the Board in an embarrassing position. They have either got to be saddled with this extra expense, in which they have had no voice, or they have got to do an act of injustice, in refusing the payment for services performed.

(Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," I: 31.)

At the meeting the next day a lengthy discussion between Bishop and the President took place, ill feeling being shown on both sides. The President requested that the Board settle the question of his authority. At this meeting Regent McIntyre stood behind the President, Page  49and other Regents urged harmony (Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," I: 32). At the afternoon session on the same day, Regent Bishop, perhaps as a result of Tappan's suggestion that the Board determine his authority in the matter, introduced a resolution "that a Committee of three of which the Secretary shall be one, be appointed to collect and present in a convenient form all the general rules and regulations of this Board now in force." Regents Bishop and Spaulding and D. L. Wood of Ann Arbor, Secretary of the Board, were the members of the committee, which, although appointed for the purpose of collecting and arranging in a convenient form the rules already in force, presented in its report a new code of rules and regulations.

This report, which was made in March, 1859, was laid on the table, to be referred to a committee of the whole. After having been revised by the committee of the whole, the rules were ordered printed, despite the opposition of the President. In June, 1859, at the suggestion of the President, the code was referred to the faculties for consideration and suggestions, but before faculty suggestions could be received and considered the Board declared the code "in full force and effect." The faculties reported at the December meeting, 1859, and a new committee was appointed to present important amendments. It was not until December, 1860, that the revised code was finally adopted, but even in this form it was very unsatisfactory to the President ("Review," pp. 1154-57; R.P., 1837-64, p. 802 et passim).

The chief differences between Tappan's point of view and that of the Regents concerned the question of the composition and powers of committees set up under the new code. Tappan's opinion of the difficulties follows:

[In discussing the code] we came to the article distributing the Board into ten standing committees, and assigning their powers. To this I objected, as virtually absorbing all the executive powers of the President. The article in question provided for the selection of these committees, exclusively from members of the Board, and the committees had been so formed from the time of the adoption of the first code reported. Much discussion ensued. The President proposed, as a compromise, that he should be made Chairman of the Executive and Library Committees; and that the latter committee be composed, jointly, of members of the Board, and of members of the Faculties, together with the Librarian. This compromise was rejected. … Finding his efforts to obtain amendments unavailing, the President retired. The Regents then proceeded, and adopted the code as printed in the second edition.

("Review," p. 1155.)
Although Tappan failed to bring about amendments at this time, a resolution was adopted in June, 1860, placing the president on the executive committee of the Board.

In his annual report for 1860, Tappan presented to the Board his views on the respective powers of Regents and president. Regent Bishop, in a vituperative speech (Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," I: 89), objected to the acceptance of the report, but it was accepted and placed on the table. That part which dealt with the code was not sent by the Regents to the superintendent of public instruction, although the custom previously observed was to transmit the entire report of the president.

The conflict over the code became so bitter that friends of President Tappan attempted to obtain legislation limiting the authority of the Regents. (A copy of the act is in the "Scrapbook," I: 95.) Tappan favored the act, since he was fully persuaded that the Board of Regents could be curbed in no other way. Many friends of the University, however, including the University Senate, Page  50feared that restrictive legislation would permanently injure the University, and the University Senate, at a meeting on February 9, 1861, unanimously voted against the policy of promoting any legislation (see Part II: Senate and Senate Council). On February 12 the Senate again met and attempted to formulate principles for compromise which would satisfy both the President and the Board of Regents.* The Senate proposed that the President be placed on the executive committee and on the library committee, and that the library committee also have among its members representatives from each of the faculties as well as the University librarian. These recommendations were adopted by the Regents at their meeting of March, 1861, but the victory for Tappan, even on these two points, was a shallow one, for, as he stated in his "Review" (p. 1157), the executive committee of which he was made the chairman never held a meeting so far as he knew.

The attitude expressed by three of the Regents to Professor Winchell when they first took office was then not shared by the rest of the Board, but by the time that the revision of the rules was under discussion at least some of the other Board members had been won over by Regents Bishop, Parsons, and McIntyre. Though Regent Bishop was shrewd in his tactics, one wonders why his crude methods did not antagonize rather than appeal. Immediately upon taking office he had revived the newspaper discussions, which had for some time been quiescent. In a series of articles which bear varying signatures, not only official actions of the Board of Regents but also the discussions in Board meetings were revealed in detail and commented on, and advantage was taken of many other likely occasions upon which to air the difficulties between the Regents and Tappan. These newspaper articles, many of which are in the first volume of Winchell's "University of Michigan Scrapbook," have been attributed to Regent Bishop, since whenever he was accused of writing them he did not deny authorship. Articles from other persons criticizing the University also found their way into the contributors' column.

It is also evident that some members of the Board took advantage of the division in the faculty and encouraged the antagonism to Tappan on the part of certain members of the faculty. Winchell's attitude was known and utilized. Professor Boise was a relative of Bishop and apparently was won over by the Detroit Regent. Professor James Craig Watson, assistant to Brünnow, was encouraged to feel that his appointment as Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory was merely a matter of time (Tappan, "Review," p. 1148).

The question of the appointment of a director of the Observatory was one of the early trials of strength by the Bishop forces. In June, 1859, Brünnow resigned the professorship of astronomy to accept an appointment as Director of the Dudley Observatory at Albany, but he suggested that he keep, without salary, the directorship of the Observatory at the University of Michigan. James Craig Watson was appointed Professor of Astronomy during his absence. It was Bishop's desire to defeat the resolution permitting Tappan's son-in-law to keep the directorship of the Observatory (Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," I: 69-70, 72-73). The resolution was passed, however, by a vote of seven to two, the two negative votes being cast by Regents Bishop and Parsons. Brünnow's acceptance of the position at Albany was considered by Tappan's opponents as the Page  51first step toward a change in the presidency. Apparently it was felt that if Brünnow could be forced out of the University the resignation of Tappan would follow, and in June, 1859, Bishop and Winchell were considering a successor to Tappan. Winchell wrote Haven on June 1, 1859:

Brünnow's departure is considered the signal for another. I heartily wish you might step in. You shall have all my influence if the vacancy occurs. One of the Regents (Bishop) thinks it would be well for you to visit the state.

(Winchell, MS, "Letter Press Book," I: 312-13.)

With a group of faculty members working against him within the University and a group of Regents reviving the opposition of the public, Tappan had little chance to remain president of the University unless his enemies failed to win over a majority of the Board. Tappan himself decided the issue. At meetings of the Board he defended himself against the anonymous newspaper attacks and charged Bishop with their authorship. According to extant accounts of discussions at the Regents' meetings (Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," I), he called upon the Board of Regents to stand behind him and pointed out that he had had no difficulty with the previous Board. The Regents, apparently, felt that Tappan's tendency to augment the seriousness of the attacks made upon him and his willingness to argue with Bishop in Board meetings would lead to permanent harm to the University. Tappan's espousal of legislative efforts to interfere with the government of the University was probably a strong factor in driving a majority of the Regents to Bishop's side in the controversy. Whatever the causes, toward the end of its term of office the Board was almost unanimously of the opinion that a change in the executive office was needed. Shortly after Commencement in 1863 the Regents passed by a vote of six to none the resolution that "Dr. Henry P. Tappan be and he is hereby removed from the offices and duties of President of the University of Michigan and Professor of Philosophy therein." Regents Spaulding and Ferry were not present, and Regent Baxter was excused from voting.

At the same meeting Erastus Otis Haven was unanimously elected president.

The removal of Tappan from the presidency was immediately greeted by citizens, students, and alumni with a storm of protest (Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," I: 115-37). Meetings were held and resolutions passed urging his restoration as president by the Board which was to take office the following January. Five months had yet to pass — sufficient time for the newly elected president to quiet the opposition and prove himself master of the situation. Even many of Tappan's friends believed that in the interests of the University the removal must be accepted as an accomplished fact. The University Senate unanimously passed the following resolution:

Resolved, That we recognize the appointment of Dr. Haven as an accomplished fact, as the present legally established order of things in the University, which its peace and best interests will not allow to be treated as unsettled or open to agitation and doubt, and that we cordially extend to our new President our pledge of an earnest disposition to unite with him in laboring for the purposes to which we have agreed to devote ourselves by assuming our respective offices, and that we receive him in full confidence that his character and ability will enable him to secure the respect and reliance of the public, and the continuance of the esteem with which we welcome him.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 1061.)
Only alumni and students continued to agitate for the restoration of President Tappan, although his friends sincerely regretted that the Board of Regents had Page  52taken the step. Professor Frieze said in his memorial address:

The unhappy circumstance which brought an end to an administration begun so auspiciously, conducted with such ability, and attended with such grand results, will never cease to be a source of painful regret. It is in the very nature of great qualities — of moral force and brave purposes, to call forth resistance. Thus the work of strong men is sometimes shortened; though, thank God, their ideas are not limited, "and their works do follow them."

(Frieze, p. 40.)

In September, 1863, President Tappan left Ann Arbor for Europe, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was invited to be present at the Commencement of 1875, but was unable to accept the invitation. Advanced age and the difficulties of ocean travel dissuaded him, and also, as is revealed by a letter from Mrs. Tappan to Mary H. Clark (May 11, 1875), the old wound still remained. His declination was received by the Regents in February, 1875, and ordered printed in the minutes, and in June the following paper was introduced and adopted:

The University of Michigan, through its Board of Regents, places upon record:

First. A sincere regret that circumstances prevented the acceptance by the Rev. Henry P. Tappan of the invitation of the Board, to be our guest at this Commencement, and the hope that the health of himself and family will permit him to be present and with us in 1876.

Second. A full recognition of the great work done by him in organizing and constructing this institution of learning upon the basis from which its present prosperity has grown.

Third. The regret that any such action should ever have been taken as would indicate a want of gratitude for his eminent services, on the part of the University and the People of the State of Michigan.

Fourth. A repeal and withdrawal of any censure, express or implied, contained in the resolution which severed his connection with the University.

(R.P., 1870-76, p. 451.)

On November 15, 1881, Tappan died at Vevey, Switzerland; he was buried on the shores of Lake Geneva, where he had spent many of the last years of his life.

Thus ended the career of the University of Michigan's first great president. Although driven from the scene of his educational experiments, he had the satisfaction of knowing that even within the span of his own lifetime, the University of Michigan had become, as a result of his farsighted policies, one of the greatest universities in America. We cannot yet judge the full import of the reforms which he introduced as he strove toward his ideal of a true university, but the passage of time has eliminated the bitter memories connected with his administration and has made possible a truer evaluation of his contribution to the development of the University of Michigan.


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Angell, James B."Commemorative Oration." In: University of Michigan … Semi-centennial … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1888. Pp. 152-89.
Catalogue of Officers and Students in the College of Medicine and Surgery, Univ. Mich., 1851-52.
Catalogue, Univ. Mich., 1843-64.
Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
Frieze, Henry S.A Memorial Discourse on the Life and Services of Henry Philip Tappan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1882.
Haven, Erastus O.Autobiography … Ed. by C. C. Stratton. New York: Phillips and Hunt, 1883.
Page  53Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hinsdale, Burke A."The Spirit and Ideals of the University of Michigan."Ed. Rev., 11 (1896): 356-68, 476-85.
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Perry, Charles M.Henry Philip Tappan, Philosopher and University President. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Press, 1933.
Pitcher, Zina. "Memoir Embracing an Epitome of the Transactions of the Regents of the University from 1837 to June 30, 1851." In: System of Public Instruction …, pp. 312-26.
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Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-76. (R.P.)
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction …, 1836-64. (R.S.P.I.)
Sellars, Roy W."Henry Philip Tappan." In: Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936. XVIII: 302-5.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920. (Univ. Mich.)
Stephenson, Orlando W.Ann Arbor, the First Hundred Years. Ann Arbor: Chamber of Commerce, 1927.
System of Public Instruction and Primary School Law of Michigan … Prepared by Mich. Dept. Publ. Instr., Francis W. Shearman, Supt. Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1852. (Public Instruction.)
Tappan, Henry P.A Discourse, Delivered by … on the Occasion of His Inauguration as Chancellor … Detroit, Advertiser Power Presses, 1852.
Tappan, Henry P. Letters in MS correspondence. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Tappan, Henry P."Review by Rev. Dr. … Historic Statement of My Connection with the University."R.P., 1837-64, pp. 1119-66. ("Review.")
Ten Brook, Andrew. American State Universities: Their Origin and Progress. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co., 1875.
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University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings, with Appendixes and Index, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
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Page  54


THE history of the administration of Erastus Otis Haven is a record both of success and of failure. Coming as he did to a campus and community upset over the recent removal of President Henry Philip Tappan, Haven was, in spite of the overwhelming difficulties, able to win the support of Tappan's friends as well as of his enemies, yet when he resigned in 1869 he admitted that he had not gained the one thing he most desired — the feeling that his work had produced a permanent good.

When Haven came to Ann Arbor in 1863 to assume the administrative duties assigned to him by the Board of Regents in June of that year, he had one particular advantage which served him in good stead — his personality. He had been a professor in the University from 1852 to 1856, and during that period he had won many friends both on the campus and in the community. His genial, friendly manner seemed a welcome change to many who had resented the overbearing mien of his predecessor. Furthermore, Haven definitely attempted to be agreeable, and to win over those who had objected to the summary dismissal of President Tappan. Haven stated that he had not known previous to his acceptance of the presidency that Tappan had not voluntarily resigned, and that he had therefore accepted the position in good faith and once having accepted it felt that his duty was to assume the responsibilities involved (Haven, Autobiography, pp. 141-43). One may be permitted to be somewhat skeptical of Haven's entire ignorance in this matter, since he kept in constant touch with members of the University faculty during the period 1856-63 when he was away from Ann Arbor. In the Haven-Winchell correspondence, particularly, University matters were freely discussed (Alexander Winchell Papers).

The responsibilities which President Haven was called upon to face were indeed serious ones. No sooner had President Tappan been removed than citizens of Ann Arbor, alumni, and students of the University held indignation meetings and flooded the mails with letters to Haven. Haven wrote Alexander Winchell, July 1, 1863, describing his reaction to the situation:

I have just received a batch of letters from Michigan, among which is yours of the 27th (the third from you on the subject). I have not yet received an account of "the indignation meeting," & shall not be influenced by it. I have had too much experience to be frightened by such things. The University would be irreparably injured, if any men, deemed worthy to hold office in it, should be intimidated by popular tumult. In this country the people govern by law, & all attempts to govern in any other way are foolish & dangerous, & to yield to them is treason. No, if I did not want to come from other reasons, a mob opposition might make me feel it to be a duty — though you know well I am not a quarrelsome man.

You may assure my friends that those who resort to irresponsible meetings to discuss what is really none of their business — I mean in that capacity as meetings — may discuss & resolve & shout & groan to their hearts' content. As a true Democrat I am not influenced by such things. I am in favor of popular government, but it must be according to the forms of law.

(Alexander Winchell Papers.)

In accordance with his opinions as expressed Page  55in the letter to Winchell, Haven set out to have the University governed by law. He made it clear that he had no intention to continue as president unless the new Board of Regents, which took office in January, 1864, should desire him to stay (Haven, Autobiography, p. 142). He likewise pointed out to the citizens of Ann Arbor that it was essential to maintain order in the University and necessary to the prosperity of the town that the University remain a thriving institution. In this way he won the support of the townspeople. His moderate behavior and skillful handling of the situation pointed the way to a more peaceful regime. Those who had been lukewarm in their loyalty to Tappan began to change sides, and newspaper comment advised acceptance of the "present situation."

Citizens, alumni, and students awaited with interest the first meeting of the new Board of Regents, to which J. E. Johnson was the only member who had been re-elected. At the meeting, January 1, 1864, petitions were received from students of the University concerning the dismissal of President Tappan. The Board postponed any immediate action on the matter of reinstating Tappan by passing the following resolutions:

Resolved, That in the opinion of this Board, it is not consistent with the government of a Literary Institution or with the best interests of the students, that petitions should be entertained by this Board from students, in regard to the government of the University, or the appointment and dismissal of Professors or Officers.

Resolved, That Executive Officers and Professors in colleges are liable from temporary causes, and often from a strict performance of their duties, to become obnoxious to a class or a set of students, and if it is understood that in all such cases, an appeal may be made at once to the appointing power, the Board of Regents, by petition, insubordination would be thus encouraged, and that peace, quietness and order, which are necessary for progress in study would be broken up by frequent and exciting contact between students and those placed over them by the State as their instructors.

Resolved, That the Regents recognize the propriety of petitions from students in some cases, and give the petitioners on the subject of the restoration of Dr. Tappan due credit for good motives and intentions, but in view of the above opinions,

Resolved, That the petitioners pro and con have leave to withdraw their petitions.

(R.P., 1864-70, pp. 10-11.)

At the February meeting numerous petitions from citizens of the state were presented. The petitions were referred to a special committee, and the committee's report recommended that the request of the petitioners for the reinstatement of President Tappan be denied. In making this report the committee members pointed out that although they recognized the merit of the former president it was their duty to take the University as they found it and to maintain it in the way best suited to promote the welfare of the institution. It was their belief that by reinstating the former president they would create a disturbance of harmony "greater than has yet existed in the University." The report of the committee was adopted by a vote of five to one, one Regent being absent.*

With the first great problem which confronted him settled, Haven was free to turn his attention more directly to the routine aspects of administration. A steady increase in the number of students attending the University continued throughout President Haven's regime, and he was therefore always emphasizing the need for increased facilities. One of the first demands was for an addition to the Medical Building. Page  56At the solicitation of the Regents, Ann Arbor citizens raised the necessary funds, and the addition was made.

This gift was soon succeeded by another from the same source. There had been talk of transferring the Detroit Observatory from the hill where it still stands to a site nearer the campus. The Observatory was, at that time, in an isolated spot, and the roads leading to it were in poor condition. After considering the matter seriously, however, the Regents decided to leave the Observatory on its original site, provide an addition which would serve as a residence for the professor of astronomy, and improve the roads in that vicinity. The city of Ann Arbor promised to furnish $3,000 for this purpose, provided the Regents matched the sum. James Craig Watson, Professor of Astronomy, secured subscriptions, mostly from Detroit, and the city of Ann Arbor issued bonds to cover its pledge. The Observatory remained on its original site and waited for the city to grow toward it. These additions, together with a slight addition to the Chemical Laboratory, were the only building activities during the Haven administration, in spite of the fact that Haven, in his annual reports to the Board of Regents, repeatedly emphasized the need for more adequate facilities for handling the increasing student population. He reported in 1865 that the greatest material wants were a separate library building and an auditorium sufficiently large to seat all the officers and students.

Changes likewise were made in the course of study during Haven's administration. In 1864-65 provision was made for the introduction of a course in mining engineering; in 1866-67 six parallel courses were offered: the classical, the first and second scientific courses, the Latin and scientific course, civil engineering, and mining engineering; in 1868-69 departments of mechanical engineering and pharmacy were added. A special course of lectures in hygiene, to be presented to members of the literary and law departments, was inaugurated during the year 1864-65.

Splendid gains were also made in increasing the facilities of the Library and Museum. Numerous museum specimens were received by gift or purchase, and the Richard Fletcher law library was presented to the University. Haven felt that it was permissible for the University to solicit gifts from benevolent individuals. In his annual reports to the Regents he repeatedly urged the necessity for endowing the Museum, the Library, the Observatory, and various professorships.

Although the University appeared on the surface to run along smoothly, two trying problems presented themselves for consideration by the President and the Regents — the need for additional financial assistance, and the admission of women.

At the Regents' request Haven presented a memorial from the Board to the legislature of 1867 setting forth the need of the University for state financial aid. This memorial received sympathetic attention from the legislature early in 1867. The law which was passed as a result of the memorial provided that the income arising from a tax of one-twentieth of a mill on every dollar of the property taxed by the state be turned over to the University, but contained the added provision that a professor of homeopathy be appointed in the Department of Medicine and Surgery. In his report to the Board of Regents for the year ending June 26, 1867, the President pointed out that hitherto the Regents had been permitted to establish the courses of study and to appoint such professors as they deemed best. The University had previously followed the policy of teaching no exclusive theories Page  57in medicine — or in any other subject — but, rather, only "the science or sciences underlying or embraced in Medicine and Surgery" (R.P., 1864-70, p. 230). Haven was definitely of the opinion that the University should adhere to this policy (see Part I: Constitutional Status).

The condition laid down by the legislature met with stern opposition at the University. The Regents attempted to satisfy both sides. In their resolution accepting legislative support for instruction in homeopathy they provided:

That … there be organized in the Department of Medicine a School, to be called the "Michigan School of Homeopathy," to be located at such place (suitable in the opinion of the Board of Regents) other than Ann Arbor, in the State of Michigan, as shall pledge to the Board of Regents by June 20 next [1868], the greatest amount for the buildings and endowment of said school.

(R.P., 1864-70, pp. 267-68.)
The Supreme Court determined that the provision adopted by the Board was not in compliance with the law, and the money was therefore not paid by the state during the year 1867-68.

In 1869, the legislature was requested to remove the condition imposed by the act of 1867, and President Haven was invited to present the views of the University to the legislature in person. Haven was an able speaker, and his address, together with the exertions of good friends of the University (both within the legislature and without) brought about the passage of the act of 1867 with the obnoxious clause omitted. The University thus received approximately $15,000 annually from the state — its first state aid since the loan of $100,000 granted in 1838.

The renewed interest in the admission of women students likewise came from legislative channels. The state legislature recommended, in 1867, that the University admit women to its advantages. In his report for the year ending June 26, 1867, Haven expressed the opinion that the introduction of coeducation would cause untold problems and demand important changes in methods of administration. Although he was friendly to the higher education of women, he felt that it would be more practicable to establish a separate institution for the women of the state. In his report for 1868, however, he indicated that he had changed his mind and advocated that the Regents allow women to be admitted. It is interesting to speculate to what extent other differences with the legislature had led the administration to take a conciliatory attitude toward the legislature's previous recommendation. The Regents did not take favorable action, however, until January, 1870, when Henry Simmons Frieze was Acting President.

In spite of the numerous advances made during his administration, Haven was, from time to time, dissatisfied with the results. On several occasions he had cause to feel that peace would never prevail. Since his return to Ann Arbor in 1863, he had met one emergency after another. Not only had it been necessary for him to prove his right to the presidency when he arrived in Ann Arbor, but he had had to face the homeopathy crisis, to assume the functions of a professorship, and to handle discipline problems and routine administrative difficulties.

On April 2, 1868, in a letter to his friend, Alexander Winchell, Haven expressed his discontent with his position in Ann Arbor in the following words:

As it regards ferreting out the authors of the vile burlesque [a mock or false program for the Junior Exhibition, March 24, 1868, which is aptly described by the term "vile"] I am uncertain what to do. Such work requires time & attention, but I am confined by two recitations a day & other matters that occupy the time. I am inclined to think Page  58that had the Faculty taken no notice of the affair from the beginning there would have been no trouble. However, the Faculty must decide. It is made an occasion of very bitter adverse criticism upon myself, who unfortunately must bear all the blame of all that is deemed to be wrong about the University, with but little credit of any good.

This, to speak plainly, more than all things else, prompts me to think of retiring from the place. I started with an unfair sentiment against me & can never secure impartiality. Why should I work all my life to sustain a cause at a dead lift? Nothing whatever would, or should, induce me to remain here but a belief that I can do more for truth & Good here than anywhere else.

I am not inclined to leave on account of homeopathy, but rather to stay & see the question settled. That grant secured (which was obtained solely by my effort), the university is more than doubled. If it fails, it is because of the Med[ical] Professors.

A man who is breasting difficulties & wearing out his life wants to know that he is working in a good cause, & for what will be a permanent good, & that after he is gone there will not be persevering effort to conceal & pervert what he has done.

(Alexander Winchell Papers.)

As if the difficulties which Haven encountered in 1868 were not enough, in April, 1869, a great wave of newspaper criticism arose as a result of his occupying a Unitarian pulpit in Detroit for several Sundays. Perhaps this was the final straw. At any rate, in June, 1869, Haven submitted to the Regents his resignation as President of the University of Michigan and accepted the presidency of Northwestern University, a relatively new Methodist institution. The usual newspaper comments were made. Zion's Herald, of which he had been editor just preceding his acceptance of the presidency of the University of Michigan, editorially stated that his resignation was "the severest blow the cause of secular university education has received. … It is a practical confession by one of the most experienced and successful of college presidents, of the weakness and ultimate dissolution of State and secular colleges" (Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," II: 109). Naturally, these statements brought forth a stream of newspaper comment on all sides. Unfortunately for Haven, his good friend Zion's Herald caused even his final days at the University to be far from harmonious. Well might he wonder whether "persevering effort" was not being made "to conceal and pervert" what he had done.

In spite of the dissatisfaction which Haven felt with the results of his administration, he was the proper successor to Henry Philip Tappan and is remembered as an able administrator. Tappan had inaugurated numerous reforms which needed assimilating. Haven was a man of no mean diplomatic skill, and he was therefore able to keep the warring elements in the University somewhat submerged. Had the acquisition of the regular grant from the state been the only accomplishment of his administration, it still would have marked the period as one of advancement. But the University had prospered in many other ways as well, and was at last ready for two innovations which took place during the acting presidency of Henry Simmons Frieze: the admission of women and the admission of students from accredited schools without examination.

Although Haven in 1868 and 1869 might feel that he had accomplished little permanent good, those who look back on the period of his administration know that he misjudged either his own contributions or the ability of posterity to estimate them rightly.

Page  59

Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
Haven, Erastus O.Autobiography of … Ed. by C. C. Stratton. New York: Phillips and Hunt, 1883.
Haven, Erastus O. Letters in MS correspondence. In Alexander Winchell Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Haven, Erastus O. Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Haven, Erastus O.Universities in America. An Inaugural Address Delivered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 1, 1863. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1863.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Joy, James R."Erastus Otis Haven." In: Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932. VIII: 406-7.
Miller, Sidney D. Papers. In Burton Hist. Coll., Detroit Public Library.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1864-70.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-70. (R.P., 1864-70.)
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings, with Appendices and Index, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Winchell, Alexander. Letters in MS correspondence. In Alexander Winchell Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Winchell, Alexander. MS, "University of Michigan Scrapbook," Vol. II. In Alexander Winchell Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.


UPON receiving the unexpected resignation of President Erastus Otis Haven in June, 1869, the Regents were faced with the difficult task of choosing a successor worthy of carrying on the program inaugurated by President Henry Philip Tappan and ably continued by President Haven. Such a task could not be accomplished hastily, and it was therefore expedient that an acting president should be appointed while negotiations for a president were pending. The choice of the Board of Regents for a president pro tempore fell upon Henry Simmons Frieze, Professor of the Latin Language and Literature since 1854.

When the Board made provision for the appointment of a president pro tempore it was assumed by all that only a short time would ensue before a permanent appointment would be made. It happened, however, that James Burrill Angell, to whom the appointment was proffered in 1869, was unable to accept at that time. It was therefore determined to leave the office of president open, and Professor Frieze continued as Acting President until August 1, 1871. The Board did not realize that Professor Frieze felt himself to be in a rather delicate situation and would have preferred an appointment as President for a fixed term or until President Angell felt free to accept the appointment. In the interests of the University, Frieze overlooked his own feelings in the matter and devoted himself, winter and summer, to his executive work until President Angell came in the fall of 1871 (Vermont to Michigan, pp. 176-77, 205, 230).

The administration of Acting President Frieze saw many changes, the two most significant being the introduction of coeducation and the introduction of the diploma system of admission.

Page  60For years there had been a growing demand in the state that women be given educational advantages equal with those of the men. As early as January, 1850, the faculty had received a request "from a young lady for the privileges of the University, so far as to be permitted an examination on all the studies, and, if passed, to receive the customary degree (MS, "Faculty Records," 1846-57, p. 92).

By 1858 the number of women requesting admission had increased sufficiently to warrant the Regents' appointment of a committee to consider the propriety of admitting them. The committee's lengthy report was a masterly summary of the prevailing views on both sides of the question (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 782-96). Equal educational advantages for men and women were endorsed, but the practical difficulties were depicted as so great that the introduction of coeducation "would require a complete revolution in the management and conduct of the affairs of the Institution." The belief that provision for women students would demand such a thorough-going reorganization led the committee to conclude that the change was inexpedient and to recommend, instead, that the state provide some other means for educating women.

Little by little the movement for the admission of women to the University gained popular support until, in 1867, the legislature passed resolutions requesting the Regents to report whether the regulations "should not be so construed as not to exclude women" (R.P., 1864-70, p. 201). In his annual report to the Board in 1868 President Haven recommended that the experiment be tried. However, the new admission policy was not adopted during the Haven administration. The Board laid on the table a resolution, introduced by Regent Willard in April, 1869, that "in the opinion of the Board no rule exists in any of the University Statutes which excludes women from admission to the University." In January, 1870, Regent Willard introduced a resolution similar in purpose, providing for the admission of any person who "possesses the requisite literary and moral qualifications." This was the resolution which was adopted. Almost immediately Miss Madelon Stockwell presented herself for admission to the University. She was conditioned in writing Latin and Greek prose and admitted to the sophomore class. In March, 1871, one woman graduated in law and one in medicine; in June of the same year two women received the degree of pharmaceutical chemist.

Although Professor Frieze cannot be credited with responsibility for the admission of women to the University, he was directly responsible for the other great innovation which occurred during his administration — the admission, without entrance examinations, of graduates from accredited Michigan high schools. Students from schools outside the state were admitted later under the same plan.

Frieze felt, as had Tappan, that as the University should be the apex of a continuous educational process provided by the state and that a close tie should bind public high schools to the University. The plan of admitting without examination the graduates from high schools approved by University examiners was, to his mind, an important step in the development of an integrated system of state education. He believed that by sending visiting faculty committees to the schools the University could aid substantially in bringing about more uniform instruction, higher scholastic standards, and the prevalence of a feeling among high-school students that progression from high school to the University was but a natural step. It was his hope that requirements might be Page  61raised to such an extent that the University would be relieved of the more elementary instruction which it was then giving. These views on integration he very definitely expressed in the President's Report of 1870 (p. 7), in his letter to James B. Angell in the spring of 1871 (Vermont to Michigan, pp. 274-75), and in the annual report of 1881 while he was again acting as president pro tempore.

During the administration of Acting President Frieze, 1869-71, money was provided for the erection of University Hall and for numerous improvements in buildings already constructed, interest in art and music was encouraged, and scholastic standards were raised. Among other and smaller gifts to the University was the library of Professor C. H. Rau, of Heidelberg University. This collection, donated by Philo Parsons of Detroit, was one of the earliest large collections received by the Library. It contains 4,034 books and more than 2,000 pamphlets, chiefly on political economy.

The only criticism of the Frieze administration which has come down to us is that adequate discipline was not maintained. The newly arrived professor of surgery, Alpheus B. Crosby, wrote Angell in November, 1870:

… This republic of letters like our government manages to run along, but with no thanks to an executive or discipline, for neither have any existence. The want of the University is an executive, and that it certainly has not in the administration of dear Professor Frieze. Scholarly, agreeable, and timid he lacks the pluck to assume a position, and maintain discipline.

(Vermont to Michigan, pp. 217-18.)

Partly, perhaps, because of the gentle and not strongly assertive disposition of Professor Frieze, but also because common knowledge of the temporary nature of his administration discouraged discipline, disturbing customs which had long been gaining ground became very much worse. Class rushes were extremely common; freshmen and sophomores seldom met without a conflict. Chapel exercises were so noisy that faculty members stayed away whenever possible. Past efforts to curb these disorders had proved unavailing, largely for the reason, in Frieze's opinion, that the traditional faculty control was not sufficiently centralized. He felt that the situation should be corrected at the earliest moment feasible, but that any major reform of this nature should await the appointment of a more permanent executive.

An account of the administration of Henry Simmons Frieze as President pro tempore from 1869 to 1871 fails to convey an adequate understanding of his contributions to the University, which he served from 1854 until a few weeks before his death in 1889. He was the chief confidant of President Angell throughout the period of their service together. Always deeply concerned with plans for the welfare of the University, and greatly beloved by faculty and students, he was influential in shaping University policy in many, often intangible, ways. His friend Andrew D. White said of him:

As to his method with students, and his influence on classical education in Michigan … he made a great impression on me in this field, because he was the first Professor whom I had ever known to throw his heart and soul into that sort of work, and make his students really feel the value of it.

His influence was also exerted during my stay at the University in a very noble way, — in behalf of peace. He had no love for squabbles or quarrels, never engaged in them, and did his best to quiet them. I know well that some good people of Michigan thought him weak, for not making himself a champion for this or that side in those old struggles, but I knew then and know now, that this quiet moderation of his was due, not to weakness, but to strength, and above all, to his determined loyalty to the University.

(Letter, Dec. 24, 1889, Angell Papers.)

Page  62Professor Frieze will perhaps be longest remembered as the man to whom most credit is due for the promotion of musical organizations in connection with the University. He was a skilled musician. White said of him in a letter to President Angell in December, 1889, that, "had he been born in Germany, he would have ranked with the great composers and performers." He was anxious that his love of music should be shared by the students and citizens of Ann Arbor, and it was largely through his efforts that the Choral Union and the University Musical Society were formed. As a tribute to his efforts in this direction, the Columbian organ, used at the Chicago Exposition of 1893, was purchased by the University Musical Society; it was renamed the Frieze Memorial Organ and was presented to the University of Michigan.

Professor Frieze served as Acting President twice during the administration of James Burrill Angell: from June, 1880, to February, 1882, and again in the fall of 1887. These later years as executive officer, noteworthy though they were, seem almost swallowed up in the extensive and fruitful administration of President Angell.


Angell, James B.A Memorial Discourse on the Life and Services of Henry Simmons Frieze. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1890.
Angell, James B."Henry Simmons Frieze."Mich. Alum., 12 (1906): 164-65.
Angell, James B. Papers, MS and printed. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich. (Angell Papers.)
Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
From Vermont to Michigan; Correspondence of James Burrill Angell: 1869-1871 (with a foreword by his son, James Rowland Angell). Ed. by Wilfred B. Shaw. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1936. (Vermont to Michigan.)
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1869-71, 1880-81.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-76. (R.P.)
MS, "Records of the Faculty … [Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts]," Univ. Mich., 1846-57. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich. ("Faculty Records.")
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Worrell, William H."Henry Simmons Frieze." In: Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1931. VII: 34-35.
Page  63


PRESIDENT ANGELL'S administration began with his inaugural address on Commencement day, June 28, 1871, and ended with his resignation, October 1, 1909 — a span of thirty-eight years. It began at a period of marked unrest throughout the state concerning the future of the University. Many critics believed that the University was at the crossroads, that it might go forward or might easily become a second-grade institution. Among the causes of this perturbation of the public mind were the indifference of many members of the legislature to higher education, the Regents' summary dismissal of the first president, and the voluntary resignation of the second president after a brief service of six years. Many of the newspapers were unfriendly, and among the relatively few people who had a lively interest in the University there were serious disagreements. Two hostile camps debated the possibility of forcing the University to provide instruction in homeopathic medicine. Coeducation had been introduced not long before without faculty approval, and the validity of the recently adopted practice of admission on diploma had yet to be established. Prankishness and rough conduct were all too common among the students, especially in the frequent class "rushes."

The new President had a profound faith in the future of the University and of the state, and believed that the prosperity of the one was bound up in the prosperity of the other. Michigan, he thought, would not grow strong, wise, and happy without the enlightenment of the University, and the University could not prosper without the fostering care of the state. The University and the state must be brought to know and understand each other, and to feel their mutual dependence. This task would not be easy, or quickly accomplished, but Angell believed that a consciousness of this interdependence on the part of each was vital to the life, the growth, and the very character of both the University and the state. How well his educational philosophy functioned in the development of the University will appear.

When he entered upon his duties in 1871, the University had three colleges, known as departments (literary, medical, and law), nine buildings, including four houses occupied by professors, thirty-five members of the faculty, 1,207 students, and a budget of $104,000. The University of Michigan, though meager in material equipment, was at that time the largest university in the United States, and provided a solid foundation for an imposing superstructure.

President Angell began his administration with no set program of reform. His first procedure was to acquaint himself with every phase of the University. He endeavored, by visiting classes and laboratories, by talking with instructors and students, and in other ways, to ascertain the prevailing standards of work and spirit of study. For several years he performed the duties of a registrar, and for many years those of a dean, of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and conducted all the correspondence, usually by longhand. He had such an extraordinary memory that he could call all the students of that department by name, and likewise, many of those in the professional departments. This relationship continued even Page  64after the students became alumni, scattered throughout the country, and was a powerful factor for good, particularly in times of emergency.

A few hours after his inauguration, which took place at the morning Commencement ceremonies, 1871, President Angell laid the cornerstone of the central structure by which the two original classroom buildings, North College and South College, were connected and were thus transformed into wings. This building, University Hall, was completed in October, 1873, and was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies attended by prominent citizens from all parts of the state. It housed the administration offices, a chapel, and an auditorium seating 3,000 people, and provided much-needed classroom space. Previously there had been no room on the campus sufficiently large to hold an assembly of faculty and students, to provide for lectures and concerts, or to house baccalaureate and Commencement exercises; these events had been held in some of the city churches. The new building quickly became the center of the official and cultural activities of the University, and thus immeasurably enhanced the morale of the student body. The artists and lecturers presented to the students were men and women of national and international fame who attracted attention throughout the state and created a steadily growing interest in the University.

The new President was in hearty accord with both coeducation and admission by diploma, the two much-debated policies adopted the year before he came. This was fortunate, for the success of these ventures depended largely upon his capable and sympathetic direction.

Although coeducation obtained in elementary, secondary, and normal schools and in a few colleges, of which Oberlin College had been the pioneer, no large institution comparable to the University of Michigan had as yet undertaken the experiment. Angell saw neither logic nor justice in a state university's closing its doors to any group of citizens eager to receive and capable of profiting by its instruction. He deemed the higher education of women a duty which the University owed the state. Moreover, he maintained, the high schools, the normal schools, and the colleges needed women teachers, and nowhere could they be so broadly trained as in the great universities. Much space in his annual reports was given to discussions of every phase of the development of coeducation. He pointed out that the number of women entering the University was steadily increasing, that their scholarship was equal to that of the men, and that their health was sound — in short, that the many evils predicted had failed to materialize. Angell vigorously defended coeducation throughout the country and was widely known as its great advocate. The example of the University was soon followed by the other state universities.

The establishment of diploma relations with the high schools of the state likewise had his cordial support. For twenty-five years he was chairman of the committee which directed policies. After each inspection of a school he commended the desirable features and, if undesirable conditions existed, suggested means of improvement. A framed communication from the University, placed as a certificate of merit on the wall of a superintendent's office, was a not uncommon sight. The success of the system is due in large measure to President Angell's tact, sound judgment, and practical common sense. At the first meeting of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, held at Northwestern University in 1895 (as described in Part II: The Michigan Schoolmasters' Club), his leadership Page  65was recognized by his election to the presidency of that organization. His influence in promoting the spirit of cooperation and unity in all branches of the public-school system was immeasurable.

President Angell believed that a strong literary college was fundamental to the proper growth and development of a great university and he therefore presided over the destinies of that "department" with marked solicitude. He conducted the meetings of its faculty during his entire term of service, appointed all important committees, and conferred with professors concerning the work of their special fields.

At the beginning of the Angell administration the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts offered six "courses," each four years in length — classical, scientific, Latin and scientific, Greek and scientific, civil engineering, and mining engineering. These were gradually modified to meet changing conditions. The scientific course was subdivided for more than ten years into special four-year programs in general science, chemistry, and biology. Since the first half of both of the engineering programs was largely scientific, they were also regarded as subdivisions of the scientific course until 1895, when they were set off as an independent unit. Meanwhile, special programs in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering had been added, and one in architecture had been attempted but abandoned. When the separate Department of Engineering was set up, the curriculum in mining engineering was dropped. A school of mines had been attempted in 1865 and was established with more determination ten years later, but in the end its work was completely taken over by the Michigan College of Mines, founded at Houghton in 1886. Before the close of Angell's administration five more programs leading to the degree of bachelor of science were offered in the Department of Engineering — in chemical engineering, in marine engineering, in architecture, in architectural engineering, and in naval architecture.

The several curricula in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts when Angell came to the presidency were measured on the basis of time (four years of residence required for graduation), and were rigid and ill-adapted to students of various abilities. Gradually the inflexibility was lessened, through reorganization of the several courses, reduction of the amount of uniform requirements within each, and departure from the old method of using time alone as a yardstick. A course in which the emphasis was upon English, history, and modern languages, rather than upon the classics, mathematics, and science, was established in 1878. The new credit system permitting students of ability to complete their work in less than four years was begun at the same time, and the total of electives was considerably increased. Although the minimum age for students not candidates for degrees was set at twenty-one years, these special students were again, as in the years 1852-63, allowed to enroll without first meeting the qualifications for entrance to one of the full college curricula. The policy of liberalization formulated in these new regulations had the hearty approval of the students and of people throughout the country, and resulted in the rapid growth of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

In 1900 the faculty, realizing that many subjects had become so enriched that further liberalization was imperative, instituted radical changes in the entrance requirements and, in 1901, in the requirements for graduation. Fifteen high-school units, with few limitations of subject, were required of all entrants Page  66in place of a choice of one of four specific lists, one for each of the college programs.

Even the four college curricula, which had previously led to four different bachelor's degrees, were abolished. Only English and three other subjects selected from a list of nine in the freshman year, and a total of 120 credit hours, were required for graduation. The bachelor of science, bachelor of letters, and bachelor of philosophy degrees were discontinued, and the bachelor of arts degree no longer indicated completion of the classical course, but was given to all alike.

By this action, liberalization of the curriculum was complete, and the students were afforded opportunity to pursue their courses in accordance with their special tastes and abilities. A period of wide expansion ensued: new subjects were added, new methods of teaching were devised, new departments were created, and new groupings of courses were formed.

In 1871-72 the German "seminary" method of guiding students in advanced study and investigation was introduced into the University by Professor Charles Kendall Adams, head of the Department of History. The new method was quickly adopted by Professor Moses Coit Tyler, of the Department of English, and was gradually taken up by other departments. There is reason to believe that this is the first use of the seminar method in America.

In 1879 the Department of the Science and the Art of Teaching was established. President Angell was often called upon to certify to the competency of students for positions as high-school teachers, high-school principals, and superintendents of city schools. He keenly felt the need of more direct evidence of their specific fitness for such work than could be predicted from their academic attainments. In his annual report of 1874 he recommended that some "familiar" lectures on teaching and school management be provided. The Regents took no action, but the President was sure of his ground, and in 1878 again called their attention to the urgent need of making some provision for an introduction to professional public-school service. This appeal, supported by the recommendation of the faculty, had the proper effect. The desired action, taken by the Regents on June 25, 1879, marks the establishment of the first permanent chair devoted exclusively to the professional training of teachers in any American university. Other universities soon took similar action.

A School of Political Science was organized in 1881 within the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, with a dean in charge. Its aim was to afford exceptional opportunities for students interested in public questions to specialize in history, political economy, international law, and kindred subjects under the direct guidance of their instructors. Only students who had completed two years in the University were admitted. They then pursued one major and two minors, and upon completion of the course of studies they were examined by the professors in charge. The School created great interest in public questions among the students, who flocked to it in large numbers, but the many entangling difficulties arising from administering a school within a department caused it to decline. It disappeared from the catalogue after 1888-89.

In 1882 a new method of earning either the first or an advanced degree was offered to students of special ability in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. This plan was distinguished from the regular, or "credit," plan by the name "university system." An undergraduate could apply for permission to study under the university system upon completing the first two Page  67years of prescribed courses of any of the regular curricula. If accepted, he was required to complete not a certain number of courses, but an amount of work approved by the faculty committee in charge of his subject-group. He complied with the rules of attendance and took the separate course examinations, unless excused by the proper authority. Students who wished to specialize in a group of related fields were thus provided for, as each student had a major and two minors and was directed by the University's most competent men in his particular field of study. At some time not earlier than the end of his fourth college year the student was given a comprehensive examination by the officers in charge of his studies and was then granted the appropriate degree (see Part III: University System).

This system appealed to scholars as marking the first step toward a real university in this country, but it never became popular and it finally disappeared in 1901. Critics have said that it was ahead of its time and that sooner or later all real universities would adopt it in some form. As some indication of the truth of this prediction, there is at the present time a rapidly growing movement in which the first two years of college are combined into an organic whole as a "junior college."

In 1894 a summer school was established. It was requested and undertaken by the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, although professors from other units also took part in it. Observing its growing usefulness the Regents assumed full responsibility for it in 1900. Its name was changed to Summer Session at that time. The Summer Session then became a complete University unit, no longer an adjunct of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. It has grown rapidly and has rendered incalculable service to persons throughout the state and the country, particularly to teachers and advanced students by enabling them to gain their degrees without relinquishing their teaching positions.

In 1900 special courses in higher commercial education and public administration were provided for undergraduates and graduates who wished to specialize in history, economics, international law, and kindred subjects. Every student pursuing these courses was placed under the special charge of a committee of professors interested in his field of work.

In 1903 the Department of Forestry was created and placed under the direction of an expert forester, Filibert Roth. A few courses in forestry had been offered in 1882 as a part of the School of Political Science, and a series of forestry courses had been provided in the Department of Botany in 1901. The creation of this department met with great favor throughout the state, especially from citizens who were interested in preserving our natural resources. The department not only educated the people to protect their woodlands and to restore forest lands denuded of forests and left barren, but also trained young men as foresters. To aid in this special work the department was provided with a well-equipped forestry laboratory, including the Saginaw Forestry Farm.

Graduate study received Angell's consistent encouragement and support. While he fully realized that in a state university the undergraduates must receive first consideration and that money appropriated for them should in no wise be diminished, yet he was convinced that the vigorous prosecution of advanced study had a most stimulating effect upon both faculty and students and hence upon the University itself. He believed that the mere presence of mature and earnest students had a decidedly inspiring influence Page  68upon the undergraduates and for that reason, if no other, should be encouraged. He realized also that it is necessary to have highly trained men and women in advanced positions in high schools, normal schools, colleges, universities, and other walks of life, and that they could nowhere be found save in graduate schools.

Accordingly, he appealed to the Regents many times for special appropriations for graduate study — additional men, additional library facilities, new laboratories — pointing out that unless ample funds were forthcoming for this work in state universities advanced students would flock to the endowed universities and state universities would sink to the level of second-class institutions. Advanced study was carried on throughout the Angell administration, and in 1892 was organized as a department within the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The number of graduate students increased until there were 259 in the last year of President Angell's active service. The money for this work came slowly; not until 1912, three years after his retirement, was the distinct and autonomous Graduate School of the University established.

But all was not clear sailing. In the early years of his administration, Angell was confronted by a perplexing situation in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. A defalcation of several thousands of dollars was discovered in 1875 in the chemical laboratory, which was under the direction of the professor of chemistry and his assistant. Both men asserted themselves ignorant of any wrongdoing. The question became so involved that it divided the Regents into two equal and bitterly opposing camps, reached the courts of law, found its way into the legislature, and aroused much discussion and criticism throughout the state. Both the professor and his assistant were finally dismissed, and the question was closed. Angell presided at these contentious sessions of the Regents with such impartiality, soundness of judgment, skill, and tact that he mollified interests outside the University and at the same time protected its interior management and the student body from any undue disturbance. He later pronounced this case the bitterest experience of his entire administrative career (see Part I: Douglas-Rose Controversy).

President Angell was keenly interested in the growth and development of the professional departments. He realized their worth to the state and to society and afforded them all assistance within his power. There were two such departments when he began his duties as President — the Department of Medicine and Surgery and the Department of Law. Four were added during his administration — the Homeopathic Medical College in 1875, the College of Dental Surgery in 1875, the School of Pharmacy in 1876, and the Department of Engineering, set off from the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, in 1895.

The entrance requirements for students of law, medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy were gradually increased from a meager standard to that of high-school graduation, and later to a somewhat higher level. The length of time required for graduation in the Department of Medicine and Surgery and in the Homeopathic Medical College was increased from two years of six months each to four years of nine months each and an additional year for internship; the requirement in the Department of Law, from two years of six months to three years of nine months; that in the College of Dental Surgery, from two years of six months to three years of nine months; and that in the School of Pharmacy, Page  69to four years for those seeking the degree of bachelor of science in chemistry. With this marked increase in the length of terms and consequently in the graduation requirements, the method of teaching changed from the general lecture system to a system in which lectures, textbooks, classroom quizzes, laboratory demonstrations, and other modern methods were utilized as needed. To aid in this advanced work hospitals were added, laboratories were multiplied, and chemical facilities of all kinds were greatly increased.

The President's frequent insistence upon the high requirements needed for sound professional education, first in his inaugural address and later in many of his annual reports, indicate that the progressive elevation of entrance and graduation requirements had his constant encouragement and approval. He was also deeply interested in bringing about a close relationship between the academic department and the professional departments, in order to give a certain coherence and unity to the University as a whole. The organization of the combined curricula in letters and medicine and in letters and law, whereby students could be induced to broaden these courses and yet shorten them by one year — a plan that was soon adopted by other universities — had his hearty approval.

The Angell administration inherited from preceding administrations two perplexing unsettled problems — the proposal to transfer the clinical work of the Department of Medicine and Surgery to Detroit, and the movement to establish a homeopathic medical college. An attempt had been made under a previous administration to transfer the entire Department of Medicine and Surgery to Detroit, but the project had been defeated. It sprang up again in the Angell administration in a new form. In 1880 the transfer, not of the entire Department of Medicine and Surgery, but of its clinical features only, was proposed. This plan received considerable support from people in Detroit, from others in various parts of the state, and even from certain members of the faculty of the Department of Medicine and Surgery in Ann Arbor. It continued to be a live question until the Regents received from President Angell in his annual report of 1888, a definite statement of the arguments for and against such a proposal, and of his conclusion that the transfer of any part of the work to Detroit would be inexpedient. He urged the retention of the University in its entirety in Ann Arbor and recommended that the Regents provide additional hospitals and clinical facilities for the use of the Department of Medicine and Surgery. The Regents, with but one opposing vote, adopted the President's recommendation the day it was presented and thus settled the question for all time.

The movement to introduce the teaching of homeopathy into the University had made its first appearance in the legislature of 1851 and had been continued through many trying vicissitudes until early in the Angell administration. The legislature of 1855 had provided that "there shall always be a Professor of Homeopathy in the Department of Medicine," and that of 1867 had attached a rider to the University appropriation bill to compel the Regents to comply with this provision. Other legislatures attempted to secure the same end, until the question finally reached the courts (see Part I: Constitutional Status; Part V: Homeopathic Medical College).

The Regents successfully resisted every proposal for action which they deemed would be injurious to the best interests of the University. They memorialized the legislature of 1871, urging that the existing state of feeling made it Page  70impossible to combine the two departments of medicine in one department, and that better advantages for the homeopathic medical profession could be secured if the homeopathic school were located in some place other than Ann Arbor. The Regents made it clear that they were not opposed to providing for the teaching of homeopathy at the University but that they saw the utter futility of attempting to incorporate it into the Department of Medicine and Surgery.

In 1875 the Regents reaffirmed a previous resolution expressing their willingness to take charge of an independent school of homeopathy whenever sufficient funds for its support should be provided. The legislature of that year resolved that the Regents should be authorized to establish a homeopathic medical college located in Ann Arbor, as a branch or department of the University, and also that they should receive annually from the general treasury of the state the sum of $6,000 for its upkeep. This solution had the sympathetic support of the President and was reached largely through his sound judgment and wise guidance. The question had agitated the public mind, sometimes sanely and sometimes bitterly, for more than a quarter of a century, and its settlement was a matter of great satisfaction to all friends of the University.

Angell's administration was interrupted on several occasions. In 1880 President Hayes appointed him Minister to China to negotiate a satisfactory immigration treaty; President Cleveland appointed him in 1887 to serve on the Anglo-American Northwestern Fisheries Commission; and in 1896 again sought his services and appointed him a member of the Canadian-American Deep Waterways Commission. In 1897 President McKinley appointed him Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Turkey. The Regents deemed these calls a distinguished honor to President Angell, to the University, and to the state, and readily granted him every opportunity to respond. His governmental appointments greatly enhanced his prestige as administrator and statesman, both at home and abroad. His successful mission and personal popularity in China was quickly followed by the enrollment of large numbers of Chinese students in the University.

President Angell was extremely solicitous concerning moral and religious education. He believed it essential to the well-rounded man and citizen. For many years he led morning chapel services in a room set aside for that purpose on the first floor of University Hall. Later he instituted four-o'clock "vespers" in the large auditorium on the second floor. The crowded programs of work, both morning and afternoon, eventually rendered the continuance of these exercises impracticable, and they were abandoned. He encouraged the formation of several student Christian organizations and frequently addressed the students on some pertinent religious topic. His annual baccalaureate sermons to the graduating classes were memorable. The subjects of a few of these sermons indicate the depth of his religious convictions: "Applied Christianity," "Lessons from the Life of St. Paul," "Cultivation of Character," "Stir Up the Gift of God," and "Propulsive Forces in Christian Life." He was closely in touch with the churches of the state and had their cordial sympathy and co-operation in his religious endeavors among the students.

Angell was always kind, sympathetic, and understanding with his students, but firm when the occasion demanded firmness. His remarkable memory for names and faces engendered a feeling of friendship and greatly increased his influence and power. Before he came, a mature Page  71and responsible student attitude toward the University had never been maintained long enough to become traditional. Even for the first few years after 1871, rather violent forms of hazing and other emotional disturbances occasionally swept the campus. At such times Angell summoned a few of the leading students, explained to them the serious injury that such behavior was bringing to the good name of their University, and asked for their co-operation, suggesting ways and means of accomplishing the desired results. Those he trusted never failed him. They could accomplish more than all the faculties combined. In sudden outbreaks, he frequently appeared in the midst of the students, removed his hat, and addressed them in a calm, unruffled voice, advising them to return to their homes and think it over. They generally followed his advice.

To his faculty President Angell was friendly, just, and wise. He selected the new members with great care and uncanny judgment, seeking scholars, teachers, gentlemen. He frequently impressed on them that "we make universities out of men and not out of brick and mortar." He gave the members of the faculty large liberties and held them accountable for results. He was no dictator, he never imposed his policies on the faculty, and he never shut off debate, but, on the contrary, encouraged free and full discussion of all important questions. He generally preferred to wait until he had the backing of almost unanimous faculty opinion, rather than to secure the adoption of any revolutionary measure by a bare majority.

Angell was always frank with the legislature, which he customarily addressed concerning the needs of the University. He presented his facts with rare skill and then placed the entire responsibility upon the legislators, informing them that the University belonged to the state, not to him nor to the faculty, and that they could have just as good or as poor a University as they wanted, but that if they wished their sons and daughters to have as good educational opportunities as the sons and daughters of other states, they should grant the requested appropriations. In closing one address concerning an appropriation, he said: "I want you gentlemen to understand that I know how much backache there is in every dollar as well as any of you do."

To interpret the University to the people throughout the state, Angell relied upon his public addresses and published reports, and even more upon the alumni, whom he always regarded as the chief wealth of the University and the chief guardians of its prosperity. He said, specifically:

I have always had two great ends in view: First, I have endeavored to induce every citizen to regard himself a stockholder in the Institution, who had a real interest in helping make it of the greatest service to his children and those of his neighbors.

Secondly, I have sought to make all the schools and teachers in the State understand that they and the University are parts of one united system and that therefore the young pupil in the most secluded school house in the State should be encouraged to see that the path was open from his home up to and through the University.

In his relations with other institutions of higher education President Angell was most cordial and co-operative. Problems of university administration were the subject of an extended correspondence with President Eliot of Harvard. Toward colleges in the state of Michigan and toward young state universities he was particularly helpful when his advice was sought. He believed that the colleges of Michigan were rendering an exceedingly valuable service and should receive encouragement, and hence at almost every Page  72Commencement dinner during his administration the president of one of these colleges had a place on the speaking program. As the years passed he became a trusted adviser and father confessor to many of these officials.

He was equally generous of his time and influence in encouraging the growth of the newer state universities, explaining to their officers the University of Michigan's plan of organization, methods of procedure, and freedom from political entanglements. His official reports and public addresses also had a marked influence upon the development of other state universities. Though the University of Michigan was not the oldest, it was the largest and apparently the most successful, and younger institutions therefore naturally turned to it for guidance. For this service it has been called "the mother of state universities."

In the early days of his administration Angell was greatly concerned over the problem of financial support for the University. He frequently stressed the fact that if the University were to expand and to serve the state to the full measure of its possibilities it must have an adequate faculty, adequate buildings, and adequate equipment. The federal land grant had been the only considerable source of University income until 1867. The first provision for continuous aid to the University from the state — Act No. 59 of the laws of 1867 — was a mill-tax law, and, in effect, it operated as such for two years, for the amounts set aside under its terms in the state treasury, though not transmitted to the University until after partial settlement of the homeopathy controversy in 1869, were determined by the proportion of one-twentieth of a mill to each dollar of taxable property in the state ($15,398.30 for each of the two years 1866-67 and 1867-68). By contrast, the state support which the University received from 1869 to 1873 was a fixed appropriation of $15,000 each year, the amount having been specified and limited in 1869 in an amendment to the act of 1867. Regular as were the fixed payments of "state aid" that began in 1869, they were too small for even the minimum operating expenses of the growing institution, and their continuance and regularity were probably regarded as uncertain. Immediately after the passage of the amendment substituting the fixed annual sum of $15,000, the Regents had appealed to the state, through their report to the superintendent of public instruction, for restoration of the mill-tax principle, claiming that the regular support of the University should increase, as its student population and needs were bound to, in step with the growth of population and wealth within the state. Through 1871-72 the Regents managed with the $15,000 a year, but in 1871 they predicted for 1872-73 a deficit of $13,000 and then incurred the debt for necessary expenses rather than impair the usefulness of the institution. Angell's plan for building up a great university required a larger regular income. He therefore presented the question to the legislature in 1873 with such clarity and persuasiveness that the legislature voted an extra appropriation of $13,000 for that year's deficit, increased the special building grant it had already made toward University Hall, and, still more important, provided for the future by repealing the act which it had changed from a mill-tax law to a limited-grant law in 1869 and by substituting for it a new one-twentieth-of-a-mill act. This was raised to one-sixth of a mill in 1893, to one-fourth in 1899, and to three-eighths in 1907. The income of $31,000 which the tax at first produced, in 1873, gradually increased to $560,000 in the year of Angell's retirement, in 1909. The mill-tax act of 1873 gave the University a dependable income Page  73which increased as the assessed valuation of the state increased, a method which met the approval of the legislature, the University authorities, and the people. It was a new method of financing state universities and was acclaimed an administrative triumph.

Proper University buildings were acutely needed during Angell's entire administration. With meager funds at his disposal, often merely accumulated savings from the income of the mill-tax bill, fifty buildings were constructed, exclusive of the heating plant, the electric-light plant, and the campus tunnel system. They were not palatial, nor models of architectural beauty, but were adequate to meet ordinary demands. Among these buildings may be mentioned: University Hall, completed in 1872; the Chemical Laboratory addition, 1874; University Hospital addition, 1876; Homeopathic Hospital, 1879; University Hospital addition, 1879; Chemical Laboratory Building addition, 1880; University Museum (present Romance Languages Building), 1880; General Library, 1883; Engineering Annex, 1886; Anatomical Laboratory, 1888; Physics Building (West), 1888; first Laundry Building, 1891; second Homeopathic Hospital and University Hospital, Catherine Street, 1891; Law Building additions, 1893 and 1898; Tappan Hall, 1894; Waterman Gymnasium, 1894; Hospital Office Building, 1896; Barbour Gymnasium, 1897; Wood-Utilization Laboratory, 1897; General Library addition, 1898; Homeopathic Hospital, 1900; Palmer Ward, 1902; Medical Building (West), 1903; Engineering Building (West), 1904; Dental Building, 1908; addition to Engineering Building (West), 1909; Chemistry and Pharmacy Building, 1909; and Alumni Memorial Hall, 1910.

Angell's guidance in the selection of University personnel was one of his great contributions. Over a span of nearly forty years, during which, moreover, the staff was multiplied more than elevenfold, the number of major appointments mounted into the hundreds. Many outstanding scholars and administrators were drawn to the University in those years. The names of a few of them will serve to indicate the caliber of the staff which he helped to build up. Among these were three presidents — Alexander G. Ruthven, Harry B. Hutchins, and Alfred H. Lloyd, Acting President in 1925.

Some of those who became known as deans, either in Angell's time or later, were T. M. Cooley (previously on the staff) and M. E. Cooley, Greene, Vaughan, Knowlton, Effinger, Kraus, Huber, and Bates, as well as Mrs. Jordan, Whitney, Hudson, Guthe, Reed, and Anderson. The many outstanding professors who came in Angell's time include Wenley, Demmon, F. N. Scott, Ziwet, Wilgus, Lane, Kelsey, Bonner, Winter, Roth, Breakey, Novy, De Nancrede, Herdman, Hewlett, Peterson, Barrett, Warthin, Lombard, Pillsbury, Gomberg, E. D. Campbell, Reighard, Hussey, Hobbs, D. H. Parker, A. L. Cross, A. A. Stanley, C. H. Van Tyne, B. A. Hinsdale, C. H. Cooley, Randall, Holbrook, and H. C. Adams.

The venerable George Palmer Williams, a member of the first faculty actually to teach in Ann Arbor, died in 1881, forty years after the beginning of his services to the University. Henry S. Frieze, twice Acting President and for seventeen years the elected head, or "Dean of the Faculty," of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, died in 1889, his thirty-fifth year of service. Among well-known professors whose deaths occurred between 1871 and 1909 were four others who had come before 1860 — Alexander Winchell, Thomas M. Cooley, Alonzo B. Palmer, and Corydon La Ford. Several of the outstanding Page  74men who were called away to assume responsible positions elsewhere were Moses Coit Tyler, Charles Kendall Adams, James Craig Watson, and DeVolson Wood.

When President Angell entered upon the duties of his office in 1871, the University had three departments — literary, medical, and law. When he retired in 1909 the number of administrative units had increased to seven, those in homeopathic medicine, in dentistry, in pharmacy, and in engineering having been added. The number of students enrolled in 1871 was 1,207; in 1909, 5,223. In 1871 the faculty numbered 35; in 1909 there were 400 faculty members and administrative officers. The number of buildings on the campus in 1871, including the four houses occupied by professors, was nine; in 1909 there were 54 new or enlarged structures, including heating plants and campus tunnels as well as hospitals and laboratories. The Library had 25,000 volumes in 1871 and 260,000 in 1909. In 1871 the total income of the University was $104,000; in 1909 it had increased to $1,170,000. The number of graduates from 1879 to 1909 was 20,000, and the number of non-graduates, approximately 17,000.

No exposition of the administration of James Burrill Angell, no matter how brief or how extended, can portray the imponderable factors which permeated it from first to last:

He brought to Michigan a highly cultured mind familiar with the best in ancient and modern literature, a thoroughly catholic outlook on both European and American education, a profound and sympathetic understanding of the problems of the plain man and a sincere conviction of the saving power of education in a democracy. Gifted with unusual powers of persuasive public address, in which his wit and humor were always in ready call, possessed of a rich store of infallible common sense, and with a deep and simple religious faith to support his rugged character, he gave to Michigan a leadership which few men could possibly have offered.

(James Rowland Angell, in Vermont to Michigan, pp. 3-4.)

Angell began his administration at a critical period in the life of the University and ended it leaving the institution strong and stable, at peace within and without, the pride of the state, known, respected, and honored in all the centers of learning throughout the world. His rare personality influenced the life of the University and of Ann Arbor for more than forty years and won him the profound respect and devotion of students, faculty, Regents, and the people of the state and country as well. He urged his resignation of the presidency at the age of seventy-six, but the Regents immediately and unanimously declined to accept it, declaring that there was no one who could take his place at the head of the University or in the hearts of the people. Four years later he again asked the Regents to relieve him of the burdens of administration and they reluctantly complied. For months thereafter his desk was swamped with telegrams, letters, and resolutions from all parts of the world, expressing the deepest appreciation of his great service to the University and to the cause of American education. The fitting and appreciative resolutions passed by the Regents closed with the paragraph:

Proud as he may justly be of the homage which the world justly yields to him as educator, diplomat and publicist, he has even greater cause for pride in the grateful affection of the people of the State, whom he has served so long and so abundantly, and in the love of the army of students, whose lives he has directly enriched and to whom he will always stand for all that is highest and best in scholarly attainments, in private character, and in public and private citizenship.

(R.P., 1906-10, p. 443.)

Page  75On Angell's eightieth birthday he presided at the annual session of the Association of Presidents of American Universities, held at Cornell University. At that session the Honorable Andrew D. White presented to him, in behalf of the Association, an address of felicitation in which he said:

Through the soundness of your judgment and the serenity of your temper, the persuasiveness of your eloquence and the delicacy of your tact, the breadth of your culture and the wealth of your experience, you have laid not only these institutions [University of Vermont and University of Michigan] but American education as well, which in her diplomatic emergencies has again and again had recourse to your aid, under a debt beyond all reckoning. Your whole life has been devoted to the highest objects, alike in the realm of scholarship and in that of practical affairs. As scholar, editor, teacher, orator, administrator, diplomat, most noble achievements and distinctions have been yours. On this life of service and honor we congratulate you.

President Angell was born in Scituate, Rhode Island, January 7, 1828, and was therefore forty-two years old when he came to Michigan in 1871. He died on April 2, 1916, in the president's house on the campus, which for forty-five years had been his home. On the day of his funeral, not the least impressive tribute was that of thousands of students, who gathered on both sides of the streets where the procession was to pass, forming an unbroken row from his home to Forest Hills Cemetery.

Resolutions, addresses, honorary degrees, diplomatic appointments, and imperial decorations were well-merited tributes to President Angell's high character, brilliant attainments, and great accomplishments, but they appear dim when compared with the distinctions conferred upon him by many generations of students — "Prexy," "Our Prexy" — distinctions which were replete with respect, affection, and reverence and which perfectly befitted his lovable character and fatherly personality. The Regents who chose him builded better than they knew.


Angell, James B.The Reminiscences of … New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912.
Angell, James B.Selected Addresses. New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
From Vermont to Michigan; Correspondence of James Burrill Angell: 1869-1871 (with a foreword by his son, James Rowland Angell). Ed. by Wilfred B. Shaw. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1936. (Vermont to Michigan.)
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1871-1909.
Reeves, Jesse S."James Burrill Angell." In: Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928. I: 304-9.
Shaw, Wilfred B."James Burrill Angell and the University of Michigan."Mich. Alum., 22 (1916): 326-33.
Page  76


ALTHOUGH Harry Burns Hutchins ('71, LL.D. '21) was born at Lisbon, New Hampshire (1847), and received his precollegiate education in Eastern schools, he was in a peculiar sense a Michigan man. He entered the University of Michigan when he was twenty years old and, with the exception of seven years spent in Ithaca, New York, where he was called to put into operation the newly established Cornell School of Law, he continued to be a resident of Michigan until his death in 1930.

He was the first graduate of the University to become its president, and the first man to receive a University of Michigan degree from President Angell, when, in the spring of 1871, Dr. Angell delivered his inaugural address.

After his graduation Hutchins spent one year as superintendent of schools in Owosso, Michigan, and was then called back to the University for one year as Instructor in History and Rhetoric. He continued as Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and History for three years.

During this time he studied law, and in 1876 began the practice of law at Mount Clemens, Michigan, but after eight years was called to the University as Jay Professor of Law. He was so successful in this position that in 1887 he was invited to assist in the organization of the Law School of Cornell University.

In 1895 he was again called to the University of Michigan, to become Dean of the Department of Law. In that position he had the good fortune to follow, though not immediately, the most distinguished jurist that Michigan has produced, Judge Thomas M. Cooley. In his second administrative position he was equally fortunate in following James B. Angell. He came to both these positions at an opportune time to exercise the administrative functions for which his previous training had so well fitted him.

When he became Dean of the Department of Law, that school had discarded the method of teaching law exclusively by lectures. The intermediate stage, in which the lecture system was supplemented by textbooks with case annotations, was beginning to yield to what we now call the case system.

Within his term of service as Dean, he was asked to serve as Acting President of the University on two different occasions — in 1897-98, when President Angell was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Turkey, and again in 1909-10, the year immediately following Angell's resignation. Hutchins was so efficient in the capacity of acting president that on June 28, 1910, he was unanimously elected to the presidency. He consented, but upon the condition, expressed in his letter of acceptance, that he serve but five years.

At the end of this five-year term, in 1914, he asked the Regents to relieve him of the office, but they prevailed upon him to continue. Again in 1916 he renewed this request, but once more action was postponed, and it was not until March 12, 1919, that his resignation was finally accepted by the Regents. The Board was at first unsuccessful in finding a successor for him and persuaded him to remain another year. Marion LeRoy Burton became President July 1, 1920.

As President, Hutchins was confronted by a situation that was in some respects similar to that which had faced Page  77him when he had become Dean of the Law Department. For some years prior to 1910 the affairs of the University had been allowed to take their course; there had been little aggressive action. There was at this time no line of demarcation between the financial, administrative, and educational functions of the University officers such as exists at present. The results of this were particularly manifest in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Attempts were made by the teaching heads of the several subjects in this department to direct the administration in the interests of their own subjects, rather than in that of the University as a whole. President Hutchins did not succeed in completely correcting these administrative difficulties. That was to be reserved for two of his successors — first, President Burton, and later, the present incumbent of the presidency. But by his wonderful combination of firmness without obstinacy and of kindliness without weakness, and, above all, by his good sense and keen humor, he reduced this administrative confusion to a semblance of order and effectiveness.

Because he had been a professor in two departments of the University he rejoiced in the successes of his fellow professors, and when he became President he heartily supported his successor in the deanship and was pleased with the signal advancement of the Law School under the able leadership of the new dean. That this involved the discarding of many things that had come in under his administration did not prevent his hearty support of new methods and measures. Furthermore, so just and fair-minded was he that no other faculty in the University felt that he allowed his previous connections to warp his judgment or to cause him to deny the fair and equal consideration a president owes to all the interests of his university.

In order to understand the great initial service of President Hutchins, namely, the enlisting of the alumni as a unified organization to help the University, it is necessary to review previous efforts to accomplish this end. Although his predecessor had enjoyed the acclaim and loyalty of all the alumni, there had been no systematic effort until the late nineties to organize their allegiance into an effective unit to further the interests of the University.

In October, 1894, the Michigan Alumnus had appeared, but only as a private enterprise. Its leading article in the October issue was "The Alumni Question — A Review," by Regent Ralph Stone ('92l), in which he reviewed the history and failure of the attempts to form an official alumni association. It was the alumni of Detroit who furnished the needed support, and in 1897 the present Alumni Association of the University of Michigan was formed, with Regent Levi L. Barbour ('63, '65l) as its first president and the Michigan Alumnus as its official organ. In the first year of his administration, President Hutchins made a trip through the Middle West for the express purpose of enlisting the alumni in the service of the University. In the Michigan Alumnus of 1910 some suggestions were presented by James Rowland Angell ('90, LL.D. '31) which led to the establishment of the Alumni Advisory Council (see Part II: Alumni Advisory Council).

The Council, acting under the direction of President Hutchins, brought the people of the state into closer touch with the University by informing them of what was being done in Ann Arbor. President Hutchins promoted alumni interests by going the length and breadth of the state and of the country, always speaking on the theme of the necessity of alumni interest and support as the complement of state endowment. When Page  78he could not go, he sent executives, faculty members, and other officers of the University to perform this function.

The first step in the alumni policy of President Hutchins had been to build up local organizations and to unite their efforts through their delegates to the Alumni Advisory Council. In one of his earliest presidential statements, made on October 29, 1909, he had emphasized, in an address delivered at Saginaw, the need of private gifts to the University to supplement appropriations made by the state. The response to this suggestion is indicated by the fact that at the close of his administration the University had received 130 private gifts of a value of more than $3,600,000. The gifts of alumni were most conspicuous. Here may be mentioned the Observatory funds from Robert P. Lamont ('91e, A.M. hon. '12), Hill Auditorium and Helen Newberry Residence, the Octavia W. Bates library funds, the Hudson professorship of history, the Barbour Oriental girls' scholarships and Betsy Barbour House, Martha Cook Building, and the William L. Clements Library. In addition to these were the later benefactions of William W. Cook ('80, '82l). Many smaller gifts were equally important evidence of the growth of an understanding by the public of the needs of the University (see Part I: Gifts; Part II: Alumni Association).

Hutchins' next important step in alumni work, perhaps more difficult than the strengthening of the local clubs, was to harmonize and direct the activities of the Alumni Association for University purposes. In both these steps he proved himself a great administrator. He did not originate either idea, but he put into effect and gave power to both.

The result of the activity of President Hutchins in this field was that during the eleven-year period from October, 1909, to July, 1920, the large sums above mentioned were contributed by alumni and friends of the University. It was also principally because of his efforts that the state gave to the University large special appropriations. In addition to the $11,449,575 derived from the mill tax, the state made $2,665,000 available to the University during this period for special maintenance items, land, new buildings, and equipment.

The material equipment of the University was greatly increased during his administration. In 1912 the Athletic Administration Building was completed; in 1913, Hill Auditorium; in 1914, the Contagious Ward of the Hospital; in 1915, Martha Cook Building, Helen Newberry Residence, and the Natural Science Building; and in 1916, additions to Waterman Gymnasium. The Botanical Garden was laid out in 1914; in 1918 the Dermatology Ward was added to the Hospital, and additions were made to the Hospital Office Building near the Surgical Ward. In 1919 the Michigan Union was opened to students, and in 1920 Betsy Barbour House and the new General Library were completed.

For nearly half of Hutchins' term as President, the University administration was hampered by the distractions of war. The trials he underwent during the war brought out, as did nothing else, the sympathetic side of his character. The terrible days of the influenza epidemic, when students died for lack of the care they might have had at home, or were sacrificed to military discipline in hands that had not learned how to use it, agonized his heart (see Part I: University War Service).

In the ten years preceding the presidency of Dr. Hutchins the state had not appropriated anything for special needs of the University. The mill tax was supposed to meet all its requirements. But President Hutchins recognized that the mill tax was definitely inadequate for Page  79the University's capital needs in addition to its running expenses. With seasoned courage he met the demand for a readjustment in the legislative relations of the University and demonstrated his ability to deal with its practical needs. In the discussion of mutual problems of the University and the lawmaking body of the state, the strong, controlling men in the legislature met him always upon a level, straightforwardly and face to face, with trust in his innate honesty and with reliance upon his candor.

In 1911 he secured a special appropriation for $280,000 for a heating, lighting, and fire-protection plant. Largely through his efforts the University was granted the sum of $350,000 two years later for a science building; in 1915, $350,000 for the Library; and in 1917, $350,000 for the proposed new University Hospital.

The legislature of 1919 passed unanimously a bill calling for a large sum as a special appropriation for University needs. In this amount $300,000 was included, to provide a demonstration school for the training of teachers. This marked the culmination of a struggle of eleven years to provide in the University the means of teaching the science, history, and philosophy of education, rather than simply courses in technique and in the methodology of teaching. During this long struggle, so ably led by Professor Allen S. Whitney, then Head of the Department of Education, and by the many alumni engaged in educational work throughout the state, President Hutchins was ever at hand to act as adviser and helper and to keep the discussion within due limits. He was greatly gratified at the outcome. It was a cause of regret to all friends of education that this sum was not devoted to building during the presidency of Dr. Hutchins.

Aside from helping to obtain these material additions to the University, President Hutchins made many contributions to its educational equipment. The establishment of the Graduate School as a separate, self-administering unit was brought about during his administration. He fostered the University Health Service in its early days and was especially active and helpful in securing the first dormitory for women.

One of the necessary limitations of Hutchins' arduous administrative duties, especially during the years of the war, was that his scholarly production was limited, although he wrote many papers and delivered many addresses after he became President of the University.

When President Hutchins became seventy-three years old he retired from active duty, upon the inauguration of Marion LeRoy Burton, on October 14, 1920, but his services to the University were by no means ended at this time. After retirement, he continued to be of material assistance to President Burton in the discharge of his duties, and particularly because of his relations with William W. Cook, the donor of the many gifts to the Law School. Although Hutchins had been engaged in the practice of law in Mount Clemens during the years when Mr. Cook was a student in the University, the relations between the two had become very cordial during the year when the Martha Cook Building was erected and presented to the University (1915), and they were further strengthened by the negotiations which culminated in the announcement (1921-22) of Cook's magnificent gift of the Lawyers Club and its dormitories.

During his ten-year administration, the attendance at the University increased from less than five thousand to more than nine thousand. To care for this great increase in the number of students the faculty was increased from 427 to 618. Among those promoted or Page  80appointed to professorships were: I. L. Sharfman, L. Waterman, J. B. Edmonson, G. E. Myers, H. R. Cross, A. Tealdi, H. Kraemer, J. S. Reeves, H. E. Riggs, L. M. Gram, J. C. Parker, W. C. Hoad, A. E. White, A. H. Blanchard, Hugh Cabot, J. G. Van Zwaluwenberg, U. J. Wile, E. N. Durfee, R. Aigler, J. B. Waite, E. D. Dickinson, G. C. Grismore, R. W. Bunting, and C. J. Lyons.

The following were retired from active service: C. B. G. de Nancrede, A. B. Stevens, T. A. Bogle, R. E. Bunker, and J. R. Rood.

The deaths of Dean R. Hudson, Dean J. O. Reed, and Dean J. O. Schlotterbeck and of Professors J. C. Knowlton, M. L. D'Ooge, H. S. Carhart, C. S. Denison, B. M. Thompson, Otis Johnson, and J. B. Davis occurred in this period.

One who reads the various sources of information with regard to President Hutchins cannot fail to be impressed by the nature of his influence on all classes of men with whom he came into contact. Everyone lays stress upon his dignity and force of character, his kindliness of spirit and manner. He held firmly to his decisions, which he reached only after he had listened to arguments on the several sides of any question. These characteristics, combined with a never-failing sense of kindly humor, made him the successful administrator that he was. His dignified self-respect was a correlative of his respect for others who were entitled to it. His mind was ever open to new ideas. He fitted them into the pattern of his own plans, and he had great skill in attracting able men to his policies. He always refused to make concessions to cheap popularity and resolutely refused to be made a personage. The affectionate regard that he had for former President Angell, who lived in retirement in the old presidential residence on the campus up to the time of his death, appealed strongly to students, alumni, and members of the faculty. Because he succeeded a man who was one of the most effective orators of his time, he was at the beginning of his term diffident about his talents as a speaker, but he later attained greater confidence and marked effectiveness. A peaceful and painless death on January 25, 1930, when he was eighty-three years old and had been in retirement for ten years, was the fitting culmination of an exceedingly useful life. He was the ideal American gentleman.


Bates, Henry M."President Harry Burns Hutchins — an Appreciation."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 327-29.
Editorial.Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 336.
"Harry Burns Hutchins Is Memorialized."Mich. Alum., 37 (1930): 187.
Hutchins, Harry B."When I Was an Undergraduate."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 45 (1939): 124-36.
"In Memoriam: Harry Burns Hutchins."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 32, No. 22), No. 4 (1930): 3-24.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1909-20, 1930. (R.P.)
Shaw, Wilfred B."Harry Burns Hutchins." In: Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932. IX: 434-35.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Page  81


MARION LEROY BURTON (Carleton '00, D.D. Yale '06, Ph.D. ibid. '07, LL.D. Western Reserve '11) took office as President of the University of Michigan on July 1, 1920. He made his first public appearance in Ann Arbor, after his election to the presidency, when the honorary degree of doctor of laws was conferred upon him at Commencement, June 24, 1920. His formal inauguration took place in October of the same year and was made the occasion of an educational conference for the discussion of many problems relating to higher education, particularly the work of the state universities (see Part I: University of Michigan Celebrations). One of the conferences held at this time was attended by the trustees and regents of the state universities, and such was the interest created by the addresses and discussion that three years later a similar meeting was called in Chicago, and a permanent organization, the Association of Governing Boards of State Universities and Allied Institutions, was effected.

A number of important administrative changes were made in the first year of Burton's presidency. The committee organization of the Board of Regents itself was changed from a scheme whereby the various units of the University were represented by standing committees to one in which general interests of the whole institution formed the basis, a much more satisfactory arrangement and one which, with little change, is still in force. Soon after the new President's coming the Regents agreed to fix the last Friday of each month as the regular date for their meeting and adopted a new order of business, the basis of which was the assumption that all matters for the consideration of the Board should be submitted to them, in writing, at least one week before the meeting. Even before Burton's arrival, Regent Lucius L. Hubbard had begun a new compilation and revision of the bylaws of the University. This was finished and adopted by the end of 1922 and was published in May, 1923.

More intimately concerned with the campus was the conference of the president and deans, inaugurated by Burton in the fall of 1920 and maintained since then by his successors. This conference has always been an informal organization and does not ordinarily take a vote on any question. It has proved, however, a valuable means whereby the president may consult with the executives of the various units of the University concerning problems common to all. Very frequently ideas or proposals developed first in the deans' conference were presented to the Senate Council and to the University Senate, and eventually, with the approval of the Regents, became formal bylaws or policies of the University.

In order to reach the whole faculty and student body, President Burton instituted the "Daily Official Bulletin," a column for official notices published in the Michigan Daily, and it was his custom also to call general faculty meetings from time to time for the explanation of general University policy. This had very seldom been done in the past. In the year 1920-21 there were three such meetings. All University students were regularly brought together at the beginning of each year of the Burton administration, and one or two other convocations were held later in the session. Burton Page  82also began the annual Honors Convocation. This new method of recognizing students who had won prominence through superior academic work was inaugurated on May 13, 1924.

The thing for which President Burton will be longest remembered is, of course, his transformation of the campus by the addition of new buildings. The need for this was all too apparent. In the last years of the Angell administration little building had been done. During Hutchins' presidency two urgently needed structures, the Library and the Natural Science Building, had, to be sure, been provided, the first appropriation toward the new University Hospital had been received, and the Michigan Union as well had been erected, but the World War interfered with any systematic consideration of building needs. With the end of the war, however, the problem was even more painfully accentuated. In the years before America entered the war the enrollment had been increasing, but was still in the range between 6,500 and 7,500 students. In 1919-20, however, 9,401 registered, and in the next year, 10,623, and from this time on there was a steady increase. Most unfortunate conditions prevailed. Classes were held in such unsuitable places as the basement rooms of Tappan Hall and the former public-school building which was known as West Hall. The stuffy little rooms of Mason Hall and the South Wing, which are still in use, were crowded to capacity. The University Hospital presented an even worse problem.

Burton's first step in preparing to meet these problems was to conduct a University-wide study of needs. Reports from executive officers showed that $19,000,000 could be expended to good advantage to alleviate the situation. In the winter of 1920-21 the Regents asked the legislature for building appropriations totaling $8,690,000, and also for an increase in the rate of the mill tax from three-eighths to five-eighths of a mill — a provision which would raise the current income of the University from $1,687,500 to $3,125,000 and would permit much-needed increases in the salaries generally paid to members of the teaching staff. The legislature's action was to appropriate for buildings $4,800,000 to which was to be added $300,000 already appropriated for a model high school by the legislature of 1919. The total, thus, was $5,100,000, and the act provided that this money was to be made available at such times and in such amounts as might be determined by the State Administrative Board. The mill tax was increased from three-eighths of a mill to six-tenths of a mill, and its actual proceeds, in view of the increased valuation of the state, amounted to $3,000,000 a year, beginning with the last half of 1921.

As soon as the action of the legislature was known, a systematic plan for carrying out what was called a "comprehensive building program" was adopted. The direction of the program, subject only to the approval of the Regents, was placed in the charge of the so-called "committee of five," which consisted of the President and the Secretary of the University, Regent William L. Clements, chairman of the Regents' committee on buildings and grounds, ex officio, Albert Kahn, of Detroit, who was named as a consulting architect, and John F. Shepard, Professor of Psychology, who was chosen to act as supervisor of plans. Shepard had represented the educational needs of the University when the Natural Science Building and the new Library had been constructed, and his duty as supervisor of plans was to see that the new buildings should adequately meet the educational purposes to be served. It was further decided that for each building there should be a subcommittee, of which representatives of the departments Page  83concerned should be members. The problems of landscape architecture were also to be considered, and all business transactions in connection with the building program were to be carried out through the Business Office of the University, under the direction of Secretary Shirley W. Smith. In June, 1921, the Regents determined the allotment of the lump sum appropriated by the legislature for building purposes. It was to be expended for an addition to the dental clinic, for the University High School and its site, for the East Engineering Building and its site, for a building for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, for a new physical laboratory (East Physics Building), for the completion of the University Hospital, and for miscellaneous land purchases needed to round out the University holdings.

During 1921-22, much preliminary work had to be done. The purchase of the sites was carried out and much attention was given to a general campus plan. Plans for the various buildings were being made ready, and by the end of the year the addition to the Dental Building was completed and contracts had been let for the University High School and the East Engineering Building. The two latter were actually occupied in September, 1923. In the meantime, the University had greatly enlarged its storehouse and shops in anticipation of the building activities which were to follow, and two important gifts of buildings, in addition to those put up at public expense, had been announced, namely, the Lawyers' Club and the Clements Library. The Board in Control of Athletics, too, was making plans for the erection of the Yost Field House.

The legislature of 1923 was presented with requests for building appropriations totaling $7,277,000, of which $2,990,000 was to complete the University Hospital. On March 15 and 16, 1923, the entire legislature came to Ann Arbor, listened to an eloquent appeal by President Burton, and surveyed the campus. Their action on the appropriation bill was to allot $3,800,000 to the University for building during the biennium, the largest item of which was $2,300,000 to complete the University Hospital. Provision was also made for a new building for the Medical School and for an addition to the heating and power plant, which was very necessary if the new buildings were to receive proper care. The bill contained an equally necessary provision for enlarging and rebuilding the system of heating tunnels and sewers serving the various buildings.

The action of the legislature of 1923 limiting the proceeds of the mill tax to $3,000,000 for each year of the biennium was a noteworthy occurrence. The University acquiesced in this action, but with the feeling that it was not wholly consistent with the principle of the mill-tax law, and endeavored in successive years to have the limitation removed. This was done in 1927, but the legislatures of 1925 and 1931 followed the precedent set in 1923.

The tunnel system was built during the year 1923-24, at the time when the additions to the heating plant were being made and suitable facilities for coal storage were being installed. Work on the University Hospital was resumed after January 1, 1924. The East Physics Laboratory and Yost Field House were occupied at the beginning of this academic year, and James B. Angell Hall at the beginning of the year 1924-25. An addition to Waterman Gymnasium was built in 1923-24, and work continued on the Lawyers' Club group and upon the nurses' home, which was presented to the University by Senator James Couzens. President Burton did not live to see the Hospital, Couzens Hall, and the new Medical Building actually occupied. Page  84They were, however, finished during the late winter and spring of 1925.

Because of his sickness, it was, of course, impossible for him to present to the legislature of 1925 the University's requests. Others, however, notably President Emeritus Hutchins and Secretary Smith, as well as several representatives of the Board of Regents, presented the University's needs in his place, and the legislature in that year voted appropriations of $500,000 for land, $900,000 for a new Museums Building, and also $400,000 for an Architecture Building, at the same time setting the amount to be realized from the mill tax at $3,700,000.

Burton's administration was a time in which many new departments and units were established. The first of these was the Department of Engineering Research, which was created in October, 1920, and at first was called the Industrial Research Laboratory. This was not, strictly speaking, the President's idea, although it came into being under his direction. The first suggestion for its establishment came from a group of Chicago alumni in 1916, and during the intervening years lengthy negotiations had been carried out between the University and representatives of the industries of the state. Next came the office of the dean of students, created by the Regents on February 10, 1921, in answer to the obvious need of such an agency and historically as a development from the Senate committee on student affairs and the Housing Bureau. This bureau had been established by the University in the fall of 1920 and had been under the direction of Joseph A. Bursley, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who became the first Dean of Students. In April, 1921, the name of the Department of Rhetoric was changed to Department of Rhetoric and Journalism, indicating that special attention was to be paid to the curriculum in journalism.

The School of Education, formerly a department of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, was given independent status in May, 1921. In June, 1921, the Regents voted to establish two University departments, one, that of intercollegiate athletics, and the other, that of hygiene and public health, including a department of physical education. During the next year the Department of Geodesy and Surveying was separated from the Department of Civil Engineering, of which it had previously been a subdivision, and in May, 1922, an entirely new department, the Department of Physiological Chemistry, was set up in the Medical School. In May, 1923, the separate Department of Geography was organized in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and in 1924 the School of Business Administration was built up on already existing foundations — the courses in accounting, marketing, and similar subjects in the curriculum of the Department of Economics.

Closely allied with these changes was the introduction into a number of departments of the committee system of administration, whereby the practice of appointing a permanent head was relinquished in favor of the less permanent designation of a chairman and the delegation of more responsibility to the senior members of the staff in departmental administration. This scheme was adopted in the Department of English in 1920, in the Department of Economics in 1921, and in the Department of Mathematics in 1922.

A substantial increase was made in the salaries paid to the members of the faculty. This process was begun in the preparation of the budget of 1920-21, although at that time the proceeds of the mill tax were insufficient to cover the amount needed, and the savings of the previous years had to be used in order Page  85to permit the general increase necessitated by a general rise of prices in the postwar period. No further general increase was possible in 1921-22, because at least one-half of the increase in the proceeds of the mill tax had already been apportioned in advance, in the application of the salary schedule adopted in the previous year. More adequate compensation, however, was provided for two classes of faculty members — the heads of departments and the instructors — and an increase in the number of the faculty had to be made because of the large increase in enrollment.

During the last few months of President Burton's life there was under discussion a schedule definitely stating the qualifications that should be possessed by members of the faculty for appointment to or promotion within the various ranks. In May, 1925, after President Burton's death, this schedule was finally revised and presented to the Regents, and it has subsequently been a second time revised.

The establishment of a fellowship in creative art was a most treasured scheme of President Burton's which the generosity of benefactors very soon permitted him to carry into effect. Robert Frost came to Ann Arbor in this capacity in both 1921-22 and 1922-23, and in the following year Robert Bridges, the venerable poet laureate of England, occupied the position.

A uniform method of administering student discipline, through a University committee on discipline, was devised, particularly to care for situations in which students in more than one unit of the University were involved.

The curriculum for social workers and the course in oral hygiene were inaugurated in 1921, and the University committee on student loans was established. This period also saw the first planning for the Michigan League Building. In February, 1921, the Regents agreed to provide a site which they selected in December of the same year.

An occurrence which attracted much public attention at the time was the discontinuance of the Homeopathic Medical School as an independent unit. Previous to 1921 there had been in the mill-tax law a clause which provided that, in order to secure the effectiveness of the law, the Regents must maintain all the existing departments of the University, which were specifically named. Independently of any suggestion from University officials, the legislature of 1921, when it revised the mill-tax law, removed this proviso, and both houses passed a resolution requesting the Regents, as a measure of economy, to take steps to combine the two medical schools. The proviso which had formed a part of the mill-tax law had for years past constituted a very effectual bar even to the consideration of this whole question. In view, however, of the clearly expressed desire of the legislature, the Regents, in September, 1921, appointed a committee to consider whether and how the legislature's request could be carried out. A public hearing was held December 12 of that year, and somewhat later a special hearing was granted the faculty of the Homeopathic Medical School. The majority vote of the committee, which was adopted, provided that at the end of the year 1921-22 the two schools should be consolidated, but that two chairs, in homeopathic therapeutics and in materia medica, respectively, should be maintained. The faculty was to be notified that the chairs in the Homeopathic Medical School would be discontinued. The students, however, were to be permitted to transfer to the Medical School, and the nurses' training schools were to be consolidated. The Homeopathic Hospital building was to be made a division of the University Hospital. Page  86The building called the Children's Unit was to become the Health Service Building at the beginning of the next year and served this purpose until the completion of the new Health Service Building in 1940.

The period of the Burton administration was particularly notable for scientific exploration. William H. Hobbs, Professor of Geology, made an extended trip in 1921-22 to the western part of the United States, Hawaii, and Japan. He visited the islands of the South Seas, the Philippines, and other points and returned through Europe. The primary purpose of the expedition was the study of mountain formation. In the next three years came the expedition to the Philippine Islands led by Carl E. Guthe, then Associate Director of Anthropology in the University Museum. The funds for this work were furnished by Horace H. Rackham, of Detroit, and the late Honorable Dean C. Worcester, of Manila, loaned his yacht to the expedition and assisted in many other ways. The anthropological and archaeological results of this work were very fruitful indeed. It was in this time also that Francis W. Kelsey, Professor of Latin Language and Literature, made his first trips to the Near East and assembled the bulk of the University's great collection of Greek papyri, the Oriental books from the library of the Sultan Abdul Hamid, and the Greek and Latin manuscripts purchased at the Burdett-Coutts sale. The excavations at Pisidian Antioch in 1923-24 were also made under Kelsey's general direction. In the next year the excavations on the site of Karanis in Egypt, which were to be continued for ten seasons, were begun, and a brief campaign was carried out on the site of ancient Carthage. William J. Hussey, Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory at Ann Arbor, visited southern Africa in 1923-24 in order to make plans for the installation of the large telescope presented to the University by the Honorable Robert P. Lamont.

Important gifts were received by the University during the years of Burton's presidency. In his first year came the William L. Clements Library of American History and Adelia Cheever Residence Hall. The second year, 1921-22, was marked by the announcement of William W. Cook's gift of the Lawyers' Club and dormitories, and a large bequest from the late Cornelius Donovan for the establishment of scholarships was also announced. In 1922-23 came the late Honorable James Couzens' gift of a nurses' home, which was subsequently built adjacent to the University Hospital. Also in that year came the gift of the Lamont telescope and the first of a series of donations of $50,000 a year from Horace H. Rackham for humanistic research — the basis of the excavations and allied activities in the Near East. The Frances E. Riggs fund, which was originally intended to facilitate the appointment of a young English student as a fellow at Michigan, but which was later modified to serve as a student-aid fund, was received in 1923-24, in addition to the George G. Booth traveling fellowship in architecture and a substantial gift from William W. Cook to aid the Michigan Law Review. The year 1924-25 was marked by the gift of the Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research. The erection and endowment of the building that houses the Institute were financed by the gift of Mrs. Simpson.

The record of faculty changes is a significant part of the history of any administration. While the years of Burton's presidency saw the retirement or the death of many prominent professors, it was likewise a time in which a number Page  87of new men who added a great deal to the distinction of the faculty came to the University. Among the losses by death were those of Professors Isaac Newton Demmon, Charles B. de Nancrede, Henry Carter Adams, James G. Van Zwaluwenburg, Wooster W. Beman, Louis H. Boynton, Arthur G. Hall, and Edward D. Campbell. Those who retired included Dean Victor C. Vaughan, Dean Myra B. Jordan, Assistant Dean William H. Butts, and Professors Warren P. Lombard, Frederick C. Newcombe, Filibert Roth, Albert A. Stanley, and Alexander Ziwet. Among those who were called to the faculty by President Burton may be mentioned Professors Burke Shartel, Frank N. Wilson, Frederick A. Coller, John Sundwall, Henry W. Miller, Preston M. Hickey, Herbert F. Good-rich, Howard B. Lewis, Clifford Woody, James H. Hanford, Oscar J. Campbell, Edmund E. Day, John S. Worley, Thomas H. Reed, Carl E. Guthe, Randolph G. Adams, Margaret Bell, Roger L. Morrison, E. Blythe Stason, Clarence S. Yoakum, Olin W. Blackett, and Palmer Christian. Fielding H. Yost was made Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, with professorial rank, in 1921, and in 1924 Dr. Harley A. Haynes was called from Lapeer, Michigan, to become Director of the University Hospital.

President Burton's last illness was a long one and was a period of general distress. He was suddenly taken ill on October 22, 1924, after presiding at a lecture by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. His illness, at first severe, seemed to yield to treatment and gave encouragement to his friends to expect ultimate recovery, but the strain was too great for an already overtaxed heart, and on the early morning of February 18, 1925, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. On Friday, February 20, he lay in state at Alumni Memorial Hall, and on the next day the funeral was held at the President's house, and the burial took place in Forest Hill Cemetery. During the long period of his illness, the ordinary affairs of the University were carried on by the general officers. President Emeritus Hutchins, in this emergency, rendered valuable service, and in January he, together with the Secretary, Shirley W. Smith, and Frank E. Robbins, Assistant to the President, was formally charged by the Regents with carrying out the routine duties of the presidency. Shortly after President Burton's death, Alfred Henry Lloyd, Dean of the Graduate School, was selected by the Regents as Acting President. He continued in this position until the arrival of Clarence Cook Little.

Such, in its general outlines, was the Burton administration. It will best be understood if President Burton's character and special abilities are also fully understood. He was gifted with an unusual talent for organization. His active and retentive mind was an orderly one, and he was quick to see where reorganization was needed and to put it into effect. Physically, and spiritually, too, he was gifted with the power to attract others and to win their liking. He could co-operate with other people and make allowances and concessions which permitted the work to proceed without friction. Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that President Burton was one of the greatest and most persuasive orators of his day. His voice was a wonderful natural instrument, always completely under his control, and his platform appearance was compelling. It would have been a dangerous gift if it had been possessed by a man of less character and good sense.

Page  88

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Editorial.Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): 446.
Educational Problems in College and University. Addresses Delivered at the Educational Conference… Ed. by John L. Brumm. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1921.
"In Memoriam: Marion LeRoy Burton."Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): 419-20.
"President Burton: the Man and University Executive."Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): pp.420-22.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1920-25.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents…, 1920-26.
"Regents Appoint Dr. Lloyd Acting President."Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): 441.
Thwing, Charles F."Marion LeRoy Burton." In: Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. III: 343-44.
"What Michigan Owes to President Burton."Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): 423-25.


CLARENCE COOK LITTLE (Harvard '10, Ph.D. ibid., '14) was elected to the presidency of the University at a special meeting of the Regents held September 10, 1925. The story of his selection was unusual, for soon after the death of President Marion LeRoy Burton the Regents had appointed three members of their own body — William L. Clements, Junius E. Beal, and Walter H. Sawyer — and three members of the faculty — G. Carl Huber, Jesse S. Reeves, and Herbert C. Sadler — to act as a committee on the presidency. This committee considered a large number of possible candidates, made a visit to New York for the purpose of a consultation, and also called upon Dr. Little, then President of the University of Maine.

At the time Dr. Little accepted the presidency of the University of Michigan he was thirty-six years of age. He had been a well-known athlete at Harvard University, and there he also had cultivated his keen interest in biological research. After his graduation he had served as secretary of the Harvard Corporation and engaged in research work both at Harvard and at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. He was known as an excellent scholar, a ready speaker, and an educator with progressive views, which he was bold and outspoken in advocating.

President Little's favorite theories of education were soon expressed by him in speeches and in reports after his arrival at Ann Arbor. He was much concerned with the methods used by colleges in dealing with their students and felt that the individual was being unhappily neglected in the present-day scheme of things. He held that the fitness of an individual for college should in the first place be carefully weighed, and once the student was enrolled his special capabilities should be considered at every point. The standard curriculum, too, was to his mind inadequate as a means of training for women students, and gave them little help toward fulfilling their responsibilities in the home and family.

Furthermore, President Little believed very definitely that in the planning of the curriculum a division should be made at the end of the first two years. Such a division was already practically recognized by most educators, and the Page  89growth of the junior-college movement served to emphasize the division. He felt, too, that at that time students were being turned out of the colleges without any common stock of knowledge which one could count upon each individual's possessing. He thought in general that the earlier division of the curriculum should remedy this situation and, like many others dissatisfied with the habit of subdividing the fields of knowledge and leaving little common ground for interplay between the various arts and sciences, he looked with some favor upon the device of general courses.

This outline will serve as an introduction to the discussion of the major project which was undertaken during his administration and was left unfinished when that administration abruptly ended, namely, the University College proposal. His first presidential report stated that in the fall of 1926 there might be expected a statement on the desirability of organizing junior and senior colleges at the University, and in fact the subject was then raised. In December, 1926, the Regents requested the University Senate to create what came to be called the Senate committee on undergraduate studies. This was done at a meeting of the Senate held January 16, 1927. A committee was organized with the President as chairman, Dean Alfred H. Lloyd as vice-chairman, and Registrar Ira M. Smith as secretary. This group proceeded to discuss the situation, and a tentative report was drafted by a subcommittee and was sent to the various faculties for discussion. The report which was adopted by the Senate committee began with certain observations about the difficulties of the present system and a statement of the problem which had to be met. As a definite recommendation it was proposed that a University College be organized, with its own dean and faculty composed of the members of other faculties who were giving instruction in the College, that it should determine its own requirements for admission, and should have jurisdiction over all students during their first two years in the University.

It was proposed that the Senate request the Regents to establish the University College under lines such as these. Very active discussion and criticism developed in the faculty meetings which were held to consider this report, and as a result the committee thought that it was better to submit less specific recommendations to the Senate and devote the year 1927-28 to further study. The briefer report was adopted without opposition at a meeting of the Senate held June 7, 1927, and was transmitted to the Regents. It was to the effect that the Senate should request the Regents to authorize the establishment of such a college as has been described, but with the proviso that any existing college should be allowed the optional privilege, at least for the time being, of admitting its students directly in cases in which the curriculum was importantly determined by conditions not fully controlled by the University, or if it could be shown that the best interests of the students would be jeopardized by their being required to enter the University College. The word "jeopardize" was one which was frequently heard on the campus during the succeeding months. The Senate's report also requested the Regents to authorize the President to name a committee of representatives of the various schools and colleges to work out a definite plan for the University College. This was done, and subcommittees were also appointed to outline the general courses in the physical sciences, physical and mental hygiene, general subjects, the social sciences, and the fine arts, which were expected to be a part of the curriculum of the University College.

Page  90In consequence of this legislation a large representative Senate committee on the University College, during the earlier part of 1927-28, held eight meetings, finally adopting its report on February 14, 1928. Following the general lines already set forth, it proposed that the University College should have its own faculty but should be governed by an executive committee of nine faculty representatives, together with the registrar, which committee should exercise the powers of a dean. During the winter this report was discussed by the separate faculties, and was unfavorably received by those of the two largest units directly concerned, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the College of Engineering. The literary faculty, in its resolution, based its objection primarily upon the increased cost of operating the University College, and the faculty of the College of Engineering had recourse to the proviso in the original recommendations of the Senate which concerned the jeopardizing of the interests of the students of the given school or college. On April 24 and 25 the Regents conducted a hearing at which committees of these faculties expressed their views. The Regents, however, recorded themselves as still favoring the plan and authorized the appointment of an executive committee, with the intention of establishing the new college as of September 1, 1929. At the same time, they expressed the feeling that there should be an individual head, that is, a dean, instead of a managing committee. It was understood that the details of organization were to be worked out by the executive committee, and this committee was appointed in due course of time, Professor Lewis M. Gram being its chairman.

The committee, however, had hardly had a half-year's existence when, on January 21, 1929, President Little handed to the Regents his letter of resignation. In this document he included a recommendation that the plan for the University College be definitely abandoned unless the Regents should still find themselves wholeheartedly in favor of it, or his own successor should be so favorable to the scheme that he would personally sponsor it. The Regents decided to defer action until the views of President Little's successor should be known, but in the meantime the executive committee was requested to continue its consideration of the plans. This was undoubtedly the central episode of the Little administration.

Various measures which were taken in the general field of student-personnel work, however, were likewise of considerable importance. Freshman Week, as it was then called, was one of the more striking of Little's innovations in this field. The term was adopted to describe a program originally planned to cover an entire week, during which the freshmen would be oriented to the University and its facilities. The period just before the opening of the fall term was chosen in order that the freshmen might as far as possible be by themselves on the campus. In instituting the Freshman Week at the University of Michigan President Little was repeating a procedure which he had followed with some success at the University of Maine, and it may be mentioned that the custom has been maintained at the University of Michigan since his departure, although it is now felt that its purposes can be accomplished in less than a week (see Part II: Orientation Period).

It was during Little's administration, too, that the regulation of the use of automobiles by University students was finally modified by the passage of the present rule, which was voted by the Regents on June 17, 1927. It forbids the use of automobiles by students during their college course except as the prohibition Page  91may be relaxed by the dean of students. President Burton had attempted to deal with this problem by appealing to the parents of students, but without much success. In the summer of 1926 a rule was passed which required that all cars be registered and their use limited to upperclassmen. Experience has shown that the absolute prohibition of the use of cars was probably the only workable scheme and the most beneficial one, for if merely the statistics of deaths of University of Michigan students from automobile accidents be inspected, it can readily be seen that the passage of the regulation had in this all-important particular a decided and most salutary effect (see Part II: University Automobile Regulation).

Little became deeply interested in the encouragement of a series of nonsectarian Sunday services, organized by a group of students and carried on for several years in Hill Auditorium. The idea was first expressed in the course of conversations with a group of representative students, both men and women, who were accustomed to meet informally at the President's house, and was an expression of impatience on the part of this group of young people with the more formal religious observances of the churches. These services brought to Ann Arbor from time to time a number of the leading clergymen of the country, but did not prove successful.

In June, 1927, the campaign for the Michigan League was successfully completed. The announcement was made at Commencement time and the erection of the building followed. Another development in the field of student welfare was the establishment of the Senate committee on vocational guidance on January 28, 1926. Professor Clarence S. Yoakum was designated as the executive officer of this committee, which has since developed into the Bureau of Appointments and Occupational Information of the University. On January 18, 1926, the so-called "Day Report" was transmitted to the University Senate, and in April of the same year the Regents took generally favorable action upon it. This report, so called because Dean Edmund E. Day, then of the School of Business Administration and now President of Cornell University, was the chairman of the committee which prepared it, was an exhaustive study of the situation of the University as regards athletics, physical education, and recreational activities. It was in compliance with the recommendations of this report that the Board in Control of Athletics (now Board in Control of Physical Education) instituted its program of athletics for all and carried out the elaborate building operations financed by a bond issue, which resulted in the completion of the Stadium, the Intramural Building, and the women's athletic field with the Women's Athletic Building upon it. The Stadium was first used in the fall of 1927.

An investigation of a much wider and different nature which came to a less successful conclusion was a projected survey of taxes in the state of Michigan which was proposed during the last year of President Little's administration and came to an end before anything substantial had been done. On October 26, 1928, the Regents authorized the formation of a committee of twelve University staff members representing a number of the various departments which would be appropriately included in a survey of the tax situation in Michigan. Dean Edward H. Kraus was made chairman of the committee. It was understood that the committee would be a fact-finding and not a policy-determining body. Doubt as to the wisdom of this enterprise quickly grew, however, and at the meeting of December 21, 1928, the resolution passed Page  92at the October meeting was reconsidered and further action on the subject was indefinitely postponed. When the resignation of President Little was received the next month, it was evident that the project would be definitely dropped.

Under the head of curricular changes and educational reorganization the most important occurrence of Little's years at the University was the establishment, in the fall of 1927, of the School of Forestry and Conservation. Forestry had previously occupied the status of a department in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (see Part I: Angell Administration), but the death of the head of the department, Professor Filibert Roth, gave rise to much questioning as to the future of the subject. Eventually, the decision was to expand the work very considerably by the addition of a number of new men and to make it not only a school of forestry but also an institution for the study of forest products and their utilization and of conservation in general. To head the new school, Dean Samuel T. Dana was brought to Michigan. In the same year, 1927, also was instituted the custom of annual conferences between the University personnel and the owners of timberlands. In February a meeting at Chicago brought together a group from the Upper Peninsula, and in May a similar group from the Lower Peninsula met at Ann Arbor. These conferences for the discussion of questions of special interest to the owners and users of timberland have been maintained ever since that time.

In April, 1926, the Department of Library Science was formally established. This involved the giving of work in the subject throughout the entire year and necessitated the addition of several persons to the staff. Previously such courses had been given only in the Summer Session. The Department of Postgraduate Medicine, another creation of this administration, was authorized in June, 1927. Dr. James D. Bruce, who is still in charge of this much-expanded work, was chosen to direct the department. In the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts a number of departmental rearrangements were made. The death of Professor Wenley brought about the separation of the former Department of Philosophy and Psychology into two, one of which was placed under the chairmanship of DeWitt H. Parker, Professor of Philosophy, and the other under Walter B. Pillsbury, Professor of Psychology.

Much discussion of the situation as regards English also took place. In 1925-26 a committee on English was formed, which gave way in January, 1928, to a Division of English, including the work in English, rhetoric, and speech. The two former still remain associated, but the Department of Speech was again made independent some years later. Another situation concerned the work in English, mathematics, and the modern languages in the College of Engineering. In April, 1927, it was decided that these three subjects should thenceforth be University departments, heading up in the appropriate departments of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Thus, the previously existing independent departments of English, mathematics, and modern languages of the College of Engineering were done away with and the various staffs were joined. In mathematics and modern languages this arrangement still holds good, but it has since seemed best to return to the old arrangement as far as English is concerned.

An important change was made early in Little's administration in the course in dentistry. The University unit in this subject, which had previously been called the College of Dental Surgery, Page  93had operated on the so-called one-four plan, that is, a student was required to spend one year in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, followed by four years in the College of Dental Surgery. The new plan called for two years of academic training and three thereafter in professional study, and since by this change the dental college would admit only students who had had at least two years of academic work, it was thereby entitled, under the rules of nomenclature recommended in the first instance by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and subscribed to by the University of Michigan, to be called a school. From January, 1927, its title has therefore been School of Dentistry.

Research in 1925-29 was extremely active and received encouragement not only from the University but also from outside donors. This is the period of the excavations at Karanis, under the direction, at first, of Francis W. Kelsey, Professor of Latin, and after his death continued by the committee on Near East research. It is also the period of Professor William H. Hobbs's expeditions to Greenland, which began in the summer of 1926. In the same year the Lamont telescope was set up in the South African observatory. In 1927 came the dedication of the Thomas H. Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and in 1928-29 the notable grant from the General Education Board of $250,000 over a period of five years for the expenses of the Early Modern English Dictionary and of advanced humanistic research. Aside from these more spectacular gifts and enterprises, however, a really notable step was taken by the University when in 1925-26 the first faculty research fund was established. Originally this took the form of an appropriation of only $3,000 from one of the general trust funds, but in 1927-28 the budget of the University was made to carry an item of $30,000 under this title. The faculty research fund was from the first closely associated with the Graduate School and its Executive Board. It has been possible for any member of the faculty to apply to this source for aid, which might be in the form of equipment, assistance, books, or any other legitimate expense for the furtherance of his own research. Undoubtedly this fund has been of major importance in increasing the University's reputation for scholarly work and in raising faculty morale.

Some of the outstanding gifts which were received by the University during Little's administration have already been mentioned — such as the Memorial Institute for Medical Research, given and endowed by Mrs. Thomas Henry Simpson, of Detroit, in memory of her husband, to encourage research in pernicious anemia and related blood diseases; the telescope and dome, the gift of Robert P. Lamont, of Chicago, which were erected at Bloemfontein, South Africa, for astronomical research in the southern heavens; and the appropriation made by the General Education Board for the encouragement of research in the advanced humanities and for the compilation of the Early Modern English Dictionary. Mention also should be made of the Legal Research Library and the John P. Cook Building, which were added to the Law Quadrangle in 1928-29 by William W. Cook, of New York; and likewise of the cancer research fund, amounting to $225,000 over a period of five years, provided by a group of anonymous donors to finance President Little's own researches on the inheritability of cancer; the Brosseau Foundation of $115,000, donated by Alfred J. Brosseau, of New York, President of Mack Trucks, Incorporated, to provide scholarships and loans for students; the bequest in the will of the late Avery Hopwood, who died on July 1, 1928, on which have been Page  94based the Hopwood awards and prizes for creative writing, the gift of $78,000 from the Daniel Guggenheim fund for the promotion of aeronautics, on which was based a professorship in aeronautical engineering and from which equipment for the then young department was procured; and the generous provision for the prosecution of research in the Near East which was made year after year by the late Horace H. Rackham of Detroit. In 1927-28, too, Howard A. Kelly presented to the University his fine mycological library, which now forms one of the major research facilities of the Herbarium, and in 1928-29 Orla B. Taylor, of Detroit, deposited in the General Library the remarkable collection of autographs of Napoleon and his marshals which is on display in the Library delivery room. In the same year the Carnegie Corporation assigned to the University the sum of $100,000 for the promotion of its work in the fine arts. With the help of this fund notable advances were made in providing study material in this subject. These are but a few of the larger donations to the University during the years under discussion.

The program of the Alumni Association during the Little administration is marked most notably by the institution of the Michigan Alumni Ten-Year Program and by what was called the "Alumni University." Little subscribed heartily to the idea that the University is decidedly not through with a student as soon as it has conferred a degree upon him, and the Alumni University which was proposed and explained by him was a device to provide for continuing individual interests on the part of alumni. A pamphlet called The Catalog of the Alumni University, which described the work of the various departments and their needs, was prepared, in order to suggest to the individual some line of special work carried on by the University with which he might voluntarily identify himself. This idea was publicly proclaimed at a dinner sponsored by the Ann Arbor University of Michigan Club and held January 21, 1928, at the Michigan Union. Representatives from nearly all the alumni centers throughout the country attended this dinner, and the plan was well received. It played a part also in the program of the second alumni triennial which was held at the Hotel Blackstone in Chicago, May 10-12, 1928. Both the Alumni University and the Michigan Alumni Ten-Year Program engaged the interest of the alumni for several years thereafter, and resulted in the eventual establishment of the Bureau of Alumni Relations, as a part of the University's program.

The University's first regular broadcasting was begun during the early years of President Little's administration. In 1923 a homemade broadcasting station was set up in the West Engineering Building and at irregular intervals a few programs were sent out over it. This did not, however, prove satisfactory, and inquiry showed that to provide a really suitable outfit would entail more expense than the institution could possibly afford. In 1925-26, therefore, an arrangement was made with Station WJR of Detroit for the regular broadcasting of programs originating on the campus, thereby presenting to the people of the state both talks on educational subjects by members of the faculty and music by student organizations, such as the varsity band and groups from the School of Music. With the changes in the station over which Michigan programs have gone out, this policy has ever since been followed, and Waldo M. Abbot, who became the program manager during the early years of President Little's administration, has continued in that capacity until the present day.

Page  95Changes in the faculty during the Little administration were many and important. A number of well-known figures passed from the scene through death or retirement. William J. Hussey, Professor of Astronomy and Head of the Department of Astronomy, died suddenly in London on October 28, 1926. Nelville S. Hoff, Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry, and Howard B. Merrick, Associate Professor of Geodesy and Surveying, died also during the same year. In the spring of 1927, on May 11 and 14 respectively, the sudden deaths of Dean Alfred H. Lloyd and Professor Francis W. Kelsey shocked the entire community. Assistant Professor Herbert S. Mallory, of the Department of Rhetoric and Journalism, was accidentally killed on December 30, 1927, and in the spring of 1929 the University suffered the loss of two well-known professors, Robert M. Wenley, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, and Charles Horton Cooley, long known as an inspiring teacher of sociology. In the course of 1925-26 Professor Thomas C. Trueblood left the active service of the University, and in the next year Professors Fred Newton Scott, Cyrenus G. Darling, and Jacob E. Reighard retired. The retirements of Professors Victor H. Lane, Joseph L. Markley, and Louis P. Hall came in 1927-28. The year 1928-29 saw the retirement of Dean Mortimer E. Cooley, Dean Allen S. Whitney, and Professors H. L. Wilgus, Fred M. Taylor, and Arthur G. Canfield. By resignation, Professor John J. Travis left the University in June, 1927, and Dean Edmund E. Day and Professor Thomas E. Rankin in June, 1928. In March of that year Professor Henry E. Riggs was granted two years' leave of absence and resumed his connection with the University only as Honorary Professor of Civil Engineering. Professors William A. Frayer and Herbert F. Goodrich resigned in the spring of 1929, and Professor Clarence S. Yoakum left, though fortunately to return later, to assume the deanship of the College of Liberal Arts of Northwestern University. Among those who were added to the University faculty and staff during the years 1925-29 may be mentioned Dow V. Baxter, Margaret Mann, Henry Field, William C. Trow, Ernest M. Fisher, Charles A. Fisher, Albert C. Kerlikowski, Carleton B. Joeckel, Joseph N. Lincoln, Dean B. McLaughlin, James M. O'Neill, Leonard L. Watkins, Paul N. Bukovsky, Walter J. Emmons, Lawrence V. Kerber, Stephen P. Timoshenko, Raphael Isaacs, Cyrus C. Sturgis, John P. Dawson, Paul A. Leidy, Samuel T. Dana, Samuel A. Graham, William Kynoch, Donald M. Matthews, Alice C. Lloyd, Alvalyn E. Woodward, Peter Monro Jack, Charles F. Remer, K. T. Lowe, Benjamin D. Meritt, Henry C. Adams, Jr., Charles L. Brown, Reuben L. Kahn, William W. Blume, Shirley W. Allen, Earl L. Griggs, Norman E. Nelson, George E. Carrothers, Joseph E. Maddy, Herbert G. Watkins, and T. Luther Purdom.

The changes in the staff due to retirements and deaths as well as to administrative reorganization brought about a number of new assignments of an administrative character. In May, 1927, Edmund E. Day was appointed Dean of Administration, a new position which was intended to be closely associated with the office of the president and to have special care over the preparation of the University budget as a whole. Dean Day held this office for one year and was succeeded by Alexander G. Ruthven, who in turn became the successor of Dr. Little as chief executive of the University in the fall of 1929. The retirement of Dean Cooley left a vacancy in the deanship of the College of Engineering, which was filled in April, 1928, by the selection of Professor Herbert C. Page  96Sadler. In the previous year G. Carl Huber had been chosen to succeed the late Alfred H. Lloyd as Dean of the Graduate School. Ralph H. Curtiss in 1926-27 became Chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory, following the late William J. Hussey. Alexander G. Ruthven was made Chairman of the Department of Zoology and Moses Gomberg Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Director of the Chemical Laboratory. On the practical retirement of Henry E. Riggs, Lewis M. Gram assumed the headship of the Department of Civil Engineering. Edward M. Bragg succeeded Dean Sadler in the Department of Naval Architecture. The separation of the departments of psychology and philosophy as a consequence of the death of Robert M. Wenley, and the appointment of Walter B. Pillsbury and DeWitt H. Parker as their respective chairmen, have already been mentioned. In 1927, a few months after the retirement of Professor Fred Newton Scott, Head of the Department of Rhetoric and Journalism, Peter Monro Jack was appointed Professor of Rhetoric and Chairman of the Department of Rhetoric, a position which he held until the work in rhetoric and that in English were joined at the end of 1929-30. In May, 1929, the Regents voted to set aside the instruction in journalism as a department, separate from its previous association with the teaching of English and rhetoric, and John L. Brumm was designated chairman. I. Leo Sharfman in the same year succeeded Edmund E. Day in the chairmanship of the Department of Economics, and John W. Eaton was called to the faculty as Chairman of the Department of German in succession to Max Winkler, who resigned his administrative duties but not his professorship.

During the Little administration two sessions of the legislature, those of 1927 and 1929, took place. At the first of these the University presented two requests, one of which was that the limit which had been placed on the proceeds of the mill tax in 1925 be removed, and the other, that a building appropriation be made. In connection with the mill tax, it was pointed out that in the budget of 1926-27 there was already a deficit of $200,000 a year of expenses over income — a situation which could only be permitted through the use of savings. The mill tax, with the limit imposed by the legislature, at the same time was producing $3,700,000 a year, and when the situation was explained to the legislature it was stated that the University was under an imperative necessity, first, to increase the salaries of key men on the faculty if they were to be retained in the face of offers from other institutions, second, to bring in new men to strengthen the various faculties, and third, to obtain an increased income for the purpose of expanding its program in certain directions — notably, the new School of Forestry and Conservation. The legislature appreciated the situation and removed the limitation as requested. The new mill-tax law, Act No. 404 of the Public Acts of 1927, introduced a new feature which seemed to be a successful solution of a difficulty experienced by previous legislatures. It was provided that the proceeds of the mill tax should be determined on the basis of the equalized valuation of the taxable property of the state as fixed by the Board of Equalization prior to the latest regular session of the legislature. This tended to remove the objection previously expressed that in passing the mill-tax bill the legislature was authorizing future appropriations the amount of which it did not know, and was in a sense making the Board of Equalization an appropriating body. The proceeds of the tax in the first year were expected to be $4,625,874.

Page  97The Regents submitted to the state authorities two lists of lands and buildings needed. List A, which included the more pressing items, totaled $4,925,000, and list B, $8,550,000. The legislature passed an act, No. 405 of the Public Acts of 1927, which appropriated $1,750,000 for 1927-28 and $2,400,000 for 1928-29. Governor Green, however, disapproved of a number of the items, and the bill as finally approved by him called for the following sums: in 1927-28, $350,000 for land for the Michigan League, $250,000 for a model elementary school, and $100,000 for heat, power, and light, with a total for the biennium of $1,300,000.

The legislative session of 1929 found the University in an unusual situation. President Little had just presented his resignation, and the leadership which would naturally be expected of him in presenting the University's situation to the legislature was out of the question. At his suggestion the Regents voted to appoint a legislative committee from their own body, consisting of Regent Sawyer, chairman, Regent Beal, and Regent Clements, together with Alexander G. Ruthven, Dean of Administration. The appropriations made in this year concerned only building matters, as the mill-tax bill was not brought up for discussion. The general bill, Act No. 324 of the Public Acts of 1929, which included appropriations for all state institutions, bore three items for the fiscal year 1930 affecting the University — $500,000 for buildings, $175,000 for land, and $250,000 for the addition of a tuberculosis unit to the University Hospital.

The building operations of the University from 1925 to 1929 were largely determined by the appropriations which have just been mentioned, together with the gifts of private donors and the initiative of semiofficial interests. The alumnae during this time carried out the plan for the Michigan League Building, and the Board in Control of Athletics, as has already been stated, built the Stadium, the Intramural Building, and the Women's Athletic Building. The Law Quadrangle was enlarged by the addition of the William W. Cook Legal Research Library and the John P. Cook Building, and the state, as has been seen, financed the erection of the University Elementary School Building adjoining the University High School. The committee of five which had functioned during President Burton's administration was, at its own request, discharged in 1925-26, and the building operations were carried out by contractors under the supervision of the Regents' building committee and University officers.

It was in 1926 that an important readjustment of the streets around the University campus was brought about by the extension of North University Avenue to meet the new extension of Forest Avenue planned to carry through traffic from Detroit into the city without passing directly under the windows of the University buildings. This involved, among other things, the exchange of the original Alumnae House, which had to be torn down to make way for the Forest Avenue extension, for the old Harriman dwelling on Washtenaw Avenue, which had come into the ownership of the University.

President Little's resignation was not a complete surprise when it was presented at the Regents' meeting of January 21, 1929, in the form of a letter addressed to Regent Murfin. In this letter President Little said that for some time it had been becoming increasingly apparent that his methods of dealing with certain situations were not consistent with policies which the Regents believed wise, and that he hoped to be more successful in scientific research and teaching than in administration. Therefore, he asked that his resignation be accepted, Page  98to take effect September 1, 1929, and that he be given leave of absence from June 20 until August 31. His further recommendations made with regard to the University College and with regard to the handling of the legislative program have already been mentioned. The resignation was accepted in the terms presented and with the following resolutions:

Resolved, That in accepting the resignation of President Little, the Board of Regents expresses the most profound regret.

His high ideals of educational standards, his initiative, his constructive aspirations, his frankness, courage, and sincerity have made the severing of relationships a heartfelt loss to us all.

We trust that the future may have for him the richest rewards.


"Clarence Cook Little."Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): 809-12.
"Dr. C. C. Little Inaugurated as Michigan's President."Mich. Alum., 32 (1925): 93-104.
"Dr. Little Resigns as President of the University."Mich. Alum., 35 (1929): 327-30.
Editorial.Mich. Alum., 35 (1929): 340-41.
Michigan. Public Acts [of the Session of …], 1927, 1929.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1925-29.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1925-29. (R.P.)


THE administration of Alexander Grant Ruthven, which is reviewed in this article up to the end of the academic year 1939-40, clearly is most importantly characterized by the introduction of new forms of administration, just as the rebuilding of the campus was the outstanding feature of Dr. Burton's time. In making this statement there is no intention of overlooking President Ruthven's keen interest in such phases of student life as religious influences and housing problems, nor of forgetting the magnificent benefactions which mark this period, and the educational improvements which were made. The administrative changes, however, seem to stand out as the most prominent and perhaps most lasting feature of the time.

In his first report, Dr. Ruthven set forth at some length his views about the proper method of administering a large educational institution with its manifold functions and its numerous affiliations and relations with other organizations both public and private. The time-honored method of expecting the president and the governing board ultimately to manage everything, with a line of authority extending in each instance from every department of the organization directly to the president, seemed to him to be antiquated, outworn, and more appropriate to a military autocracy than to a democratic community of scholars. Furthermore, the saddling of all the problems upon the shoulders of the president was creating a problem which no one man was physically capable of handling. Consequently, on the one hand, Dr. Ruthven's theory of administration advocates a sharing of administrative duties by as many different Page  [unnumbered]

[missing figure]
Alexander Grant Ruthven
Page  [unnumbered]Page  99members of the faculty and staff as possible, and, on the other, a division of executive functions of the sort found in large corporations, whereby oversight over certain activities of the whole organization is delegated to general executive officers who in effect constitute the cabinet of the chief executive.

The desire to clear up and co-ordinate the titles and duties of officers and units of the University was also almost instinctive with the new President. Hence there soon came, for example, a clean-cut definition of the term "division," with the organization of several divisions for the purpose of co-ordinating certain types of allied activities, and the organization of institutes to carry out programs of instruction and research. A recodification of the bylaws was necessary, both to bring the old code up to date after more than a decade of changes, and to incorporate the new principles of organization. E. Blythe Stason, Professor of Law, was commissioned by the Regents to perform this task.

Alexander G. Ruthven came to the presidency from the office of Dean of Administration, which he had held during the last year of President Little's administration. Although he had desired to resign from this deanship, the Regents requested him not to do so and in fact to divest himself of the details of his duties as Director of University Museums in order that he might give more attention to the general administration of the University; and it was he who, without change of title, acted as chief administrative officer of the University during the period between Commencement, 1929, and October 4, when he was unanimously elected president.

The agitation, of which there had been so much on the campus, very quickly died down. A committee on the proposed University College was still outstanding, but the report which it presented was permitted to lie on the table until such time as the faculties should desire to renew the project. Dr. Ruthven, in the Michigan Alumnus for February, 1930, expressed himself as favoring the improvement of educational facilities and methods without the fundamental reorganization and the expense which would be involved in the University College plan. As a matter of fact, much was actually accomplished in the next few years, and some of the ends sought by the advocates of the University College were achieved without a general upsetting of old traditions.

The first steps toward giving the University a quasi-corporate organization were taken in the year 1929-30, when Shirley W. Smith was designated Vice-President and Secretary of the University; Clarence S. Yoakum, Vice-President in Charge of Educational Investigations; and Lewis M. Gram, Director of Plant Extension. By giving these officers, respectively, the general supervision of the business and financial dealings of the University, the consideration of educational improvements, and supervision of building operations and the provision of major items of equipment, the President was relieved of a certain amount of detail. In 1931-32 Dr. James D. Bruce was made Vice-President in Charge of University Relations with the special duty of supervising those activities of the institution in which the University came into contact with groups and individuals away from its own campus. In 1933-34 Henry C. Anderson, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was appointed Director of Student-Alumni Relations in order to co-ordinate the activities of the many agencies in this field, such as the dormitories, the Union, and the League, which have grown up within the University's organization. Professor Carl G. Brandt succeeded to this position after Dean Anderson's death. The Page  100next step was not taken until April 9, 1938, when E. Blythe Stason, Professor of Law, was designated Provost of the University. His duties were at the time broadly defined, so that, in general, certain of the President's responsibilities might be from time to time delegated to him. Professor Stason had for several years previously been associated with the other general officers in an informal way and by the Regents' direction had given much time to the recodification of the bylaws of the University.

Within the schools and colleges, the most important change in administrative procedure was the introduction of a form of government in which the executive responsibility was assigned to both the dean (or other chief officer) and an executive committee. In the President's Report for 1929-30 Dr. Ruthven expressed himself as favoring this policy and as seeking the elimination of the feeling, so characteristic of a university campus, that there is a fixed line of demarcation between the teaching and the executive members of the staff. The scheme was carried out not only in the schools and colleges but also in some of the subdepartments, and in the management of certain of the major interests of the University, such as, for example, the administration of University lands and publications. A committee on University lands used for instruction and research was formed in the year 1929-30, and very shortly thereafter the general supervision of the University's publications was handed over to the managing editor and administrative committee of a newly constituted University of Michigan Press.

The first executive committee to be appointed in any of the schools and colleges was that of the Medical School. In February, 1930, the position of dean of the Medical School, which had been held by Dr. Hugh Cabot, was declared vacant, and an executive committee was appointed to carry on the duties of the deanship for the rest of the year. In the following year this committee was made permanent and was made up of the director of preclinical medicine, the director of clinical medicine, the director of the Department of Postgraduate Medicine, and the director of the University Hospital (the latter in an advisory capacity), together with the secretary of the Medical School. Dr. Frederick G. Novy became Chairman of the Executive Committee and so continued until his appointment as Dean in September, 1933. The committee continued to exist after the restoration of the deanship, and at the time of the appointment of Dr. Albert C. Furstenberg to succeed Dean Novy a detailed resolution on the administration of the School prescribed that the executive committee should consist of the dean, the director of the Hospital, the director of the Department of Postgraduate Medicine, and three more faculty members to be appointed by the president. The secretary of the Medical School was permitted to meet with the committee, although without vote.

The committee system was next applied in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Here Dean Effinger had already utilized an advisory committee, which, however, had no executive powers. His death, on June 7, 1933, occasioned the reorganization of the College's administration. On June 15 the faculty voted as a recommendation to the Regents that there be an executive committee of five, that its members should be appointed by the president from a panel of names submitted to him by the faculty, and that the executive committee should carry on the duties of a dean until the vacancy should be filled and should report its recommendation for the permanent government of the College. It was also recommended that Page  101the dean's advisory committee be dismissed. At the summer meeting of the Regents, on August 26, Edward H. Kraus was designated Dean of the College, and it was provided that there should be an executive committee consisting of the dean and six members appointed by the president. The recommendations submitted by the executive committee of the College and approved by the Regents at this time also directed that the departments should be reorganized, that in connection with this faculty reorganization there should be more faculty participation in administration, and that departments should be grouped according to their general fields of interest. It may be noted that, in accepting the recommendation of the faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Regents declined to require the president to select as members of the executive committee only those members of the faculty who should be recommended to him by the vote of that body. Their reason for this action was their conviction that the chief executive responsibility for the University as a whole must reside in the Regents and president, and they felt it unwise as a matter of general policy to relinquish or delegate any part of this responsibility in the appointment of major executive officials.

Executive committees of a similar kind were later set up in the Summer Session, in the School of Dentistry, in the College of Architecture and Design, and in the College of Engineering. The committee for the Summer Session consists of five members, ordinarily deans of the schools and colleges in which summer instruction is offered. In the School of Dentistry the executive committee was first appointed when Dr. Marcus L. Ward resigned the deanship on September 28, 1934, and was appointed Jonathan Taft Professor of Dentistry. Dr. Chalmers J. Lyons held the chairmanship of the executive committee of this School until his death on May 18, 1935. Dr. Russell W. Bunting succeeded him as acting chairman, but was made Dean of the School on September 24, 1937. The College of Architecture, although a separate college, was administered together with the College of Engineering and by the same dean until September, 1931. On that occasion it was voted by the Regents that henceforth the College should be independently administered, and Professor Emil Lorch was made its Director. This position he held until June 26, 1936. An executive committee in this College was first organized April 27, 1936. Wells I. Bennett, Professor of Architecture, was its chairman, and on February 11, 1938, his title was changed to Dean. In 1939 the name of the College itself was changed to "College of Architecture and Design" in recognition of the importance of the curriculum in decorative design, and at the same time the Department of Landscape Design was transferred to this College from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

A similar committee system was also adopted for certain of the departments, chiefly in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. It was left to the departments themselves, however, to decide upon their form of government, and in many, particularly in the small, departments, it was decided that the appointment of a committee was superfluous. In the Museum of Zoology an executive committee was instituted in 1940.

With the beginning of President Ruthven's second year, also, the University returned to the policy of entrusting the supervision of its women students to a dean of women rather than to the committee of advisers, which had acted during the latter part of President Little's term of office. Miss Alice C. Lloyd, who had been one of the advisers, was designated Page  102Dean of Women and began her duties as such at the time mentioned.

Another characteristic process of these years was the formation of divisions. Not intended, as in some university organizations, to be administrative units, divisions were defined as "a grouping of units and departments for the purpose of co-ordinating various allied activities and of developing the general field therein represented along consistent, progressive, and noncomplicating lines." The specific duties of the division were enumerated as advice and recommendation concerning the relations of the several curricula, encouragement of individual research, and the promotion of co-operative investigations.

This term had already been used, since the days of President Burton, to designate the Division of Hygiene and Public Health and to describe a teaching unit of somewhat larger size and scope than the ordinary department but not organized as an independent school or college. The new divisions were quite different, as the definition shows. The first to be created was the Division of Fine Arts, in which were grouped: the College of Architecture; the courses in creative art, the Department of Fine Arts, and the Department of Landscape Design, in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and the play-production courses in the Department of Speech of the same College. The Research Seminar in Islamic Art was later added to the Division, and in 1935-36 the name was changed to Institute of Fine Arts.

In 1933-34 the Division of the Social Sciences was authorized. The noteworthy feature of this event is that its formation came not as an administrative measure but as the result of a petition of the departments concerned. The Division of the Health Sciences was created in January, 1935, and in January, 1937, the Division of Extramural Services was added to the list and was put under the chairmanship of the vice-president in charge of University relations. The latter Division co-ordinates the extramural activities of the University Extension Service, the Library Extension Service, the Bureau of Appointments and Occupational Information, the Bureau of Alumni Relations, the Bureau of Cooperation with Educational Institutions, the Student-Alumni Relations, the Bureau of Government, and that part of the work of the Department of Vocational Education which is done off the campus.

A very important step in academic organization was the creation of the University Council, the plan for which was finally approved by the Regents May 29, 1931. This body, which, under the chairmanship of the president, consists of the deans and other administrative officers together with elected representatives of the several schools and colleges, has taken over the legislative functions of the University Senate and the supervision of the various Senate committees. The increasing size and unwieldiness of the Senate had for many years made it obvious that a Senate meeting was not the proper place in which to discuss policies and arrive at decisions with regard to them, and the previously existing Senate Council, which had acted in a sense as the executive committee of the Senate, had likewise not proved effective in dealing with these difficulties. The moderate-sized University Council was therefore formed and the functions of the Senate were entrusted to it, with the reservation that the Senate might review any of its legislative actions. The Council was organized with five standing committees, each of which was assigned to some major interest of the University and was expected to discuss questions falling within its particular field — both questions taken up upon its own initiative and those referred to it by other Page  103committees or by the Council. The standing committees were designated educational policies, student relations, public relations, plant and equipment, and program and policy, the last consisting of the president, the vice-chairman and the secretary of the Council, and the chairmen of the four other committees. A system was devised whereby the various administrative and advisory committees, such as the Senate committee on student affairs, the Board in Control of Student Publications, and the like, were divided among the fields represented by the standing committees. Although the administrative and advisory committees owe their responsibility to the Council and the Senate, their reports are customarily referred to the appropriate standing committees, and the latter are expected to conduct preliminary discussions and, if necessary, hearings, finally reporting any necessary recommendations to the University Council.

Another of President Ruthven's policies which rapidly found expression was the formation of administrative or advisory committees associated with directors to take charge of certain phases of the University's activities and interests which do not fall within the scope of the schools and colleges. We have already mentioned the committee on University lands used for instruction and research and the University of Michigan Press with its administrative committee. In 1929 the Bureau of Appointments and Occupational Information was organized with T. Luther Purdom as Director and with an advisory committee. This bureau combined the activities of the former Bureau of Appointments, in the School of Education, and the committee on vocational counsel and placement, which had been established some time before at the instance of the University Senate.

Also in the year 1929-30 the Bureau of Alumni Relations was established, with Wilfred B. Shaw as Director and with an advisory committee. This, it is believed, was a new departure in university administration, for though many institutions have alumni associations there are very few, if any, in which there is a university officer whose duty it is to foster such interests as adult education among the alumni. The Director of the University of Michigan's Bureau of Alumni Relations not only does this but also publishes bulletins for general circulation among the alumni, conducts the business of the Alumni Advisory Council, and in addition edits the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review and superintends the University News Service, although the latter was placed in Mr. Shaw's charge more because of his knowledge of the situation and ability to handle it than because of the nature of his office.

Two important committees which have much to do with the faculty and staff are the faculty personnel committee, created in 1929-30, and the committee on office personnel, authorized in September, 1931. The former consists of the president, the dean of the Graduate School, and the dean of the school or college in which any proposed appointment to the faculty is to be made; and its duty is to review and finally to recommend to the Regents all appointments, promotions, and changes in salary, with a view to the safeguarding of standards and co-ordination of practices throughout the University. The committee on office personnel functions similarly with reference to appointments to and rearrangements among the clerical staff. Its work has proved valuable in providing means for promoting worthy members of this group when shifts have to be made in any of the University offices, and generally in unifying procedures.

The committee on University archives, created in 1935-36, is associated Page  104with the Michigan Historical Collections, which have been built up very actively in the past few years through the efforts of Lewis G. Vander Velde, Professor of History. Its function is to promote the collection and to facilitate the proper preservation of historical materials pertaining not only to the University of Michigan but also to the state.

In May, 1935, the appointment of the Board of Co-ordination and Financial Control of Student Socioreligious Projects was authorized. Falling within the field of the Director of Student-Alumni Relations, this board has oversight over the plans and budgets of such enterprises as the Fresh-Air Camp.

Other committees of this general type are the University committee on accredited schools (which, though formerly existent, was never actually authorized until June, 1930), and a standing committee on annuities, a committee on engineering research, a University committee on postgraduate education, and a committee on health insurance — all organized in 1933-34.

New organizations also grew up within the University itself or were affiliated with it. The Institute of the Health and Social Sciences was organized as a part of the Graduate School in January, 1935, to oversee the courses, particularly in social work, conducted in Detroit under the auspices of the School. The name of this division, however, has since been changed to Institute of Public and Social Administration, and both the curriculum in public administration and that leading to professional degrees in social work have been placed under its jurisdiction. Similarly, as the result of Mrs. Mary A. Rackham's gift for the purpose, the Institute for Human Adjustment was organized in March, 1938, and as the result of action by the state legislature the Michigan Child Guidance Institute and the Neuropsychiatric Institute came under the jurisdiction of the Regents. The neuropsychiatric unit had existed for many years as the State Psychopathic Hospital, but in placing it in the University's charge the legislative act made certain changes in the plan of the state hospital and eliminated old conditions which had considerably handicapped it in the past as a teaching and research institution.

The Bureau of Government underwent two changes of status. Formerly a part of the Department of Political Science, in June, 1934, it was given independent status, though still affiliated with the department. In April, 1938, when the Institute of Public and Social Administration was reorganized as a part of the Graduate School, the Bureau of Government was brought into that institute, together with the curriculum in public administration, the curriculum in social work, and the program in land utilization. A bureau and a professorship of industrial relations, in the School of Business Administration, were established in August, 1934, as the result of benefactions.

President Ruthven came to office at an inauspicious time in the country's economic history. The depression which began in 1929 was almost at once under way. The enrollment of students was not at first affected, but as time went on a drop occurred, followed by a rise beginning in 1934-35. By 1937-38 the enrollment stood at its highest in the history of the University. The economic situation of course affected the support given by the state to the institution. The essential facts are summarized in Table I.

It is to be noted that from 1931-32 to 1933-34, inclusive, the amount paid to the University was limited by the legislature, and that in the following year the original appropriation of $4,062,365.32 was reduced by 5 per cent. It may also be Page  105noted that though the proceeds of the mill tax have increased since they reached their lowest point, in 1933-35, they are not yet back to the level of 1929-32, when there were far fewer students than at present.

The most important legislative action affecting the University during this time is embodied in Act No. 112 of the Public Acts of 1935. This act was drawn up in order to bring the law into better agreement with changed conditions and at the

TABLE IComparative Figures of Student Enrollment and Mill Tax
Year Student Enrollment Equalized Valuation Governing the Mill Tax Tax Rate, in Fractions of a Mill Amount Realized
Including Extension Excluding Extension
1927-28 13,593 12,356 $7,709,790,000 0.60 $4,625,874.00
1928-29 13,769 11,927 7,709,790,000 0.60 4,625,874.00
1929-30 15,154 12,470 8,201,420,920 0.60 4,920,852.55
1930-31 15,500 12,531 8,201,420,920 0.60 4,920,852.55
1931-32 14,826 12,376 8,447,141,000 0.60 4,920,852.55
1932-33 13,257 11,256 8,447,141,000 0.60 4,182,724.67
1933-34 12,301 10,573 6,614,308,000 0.60 3,200,000.00
1934-35 13,691 11,638 6,614,308,000 0.60 3,200,000.00
1935-36 16,040 13,047 5,564,884,000 0.73 3,859,247.05
1936-37 18,043 14,252 5,564,884,000 0.73 4,062,365.32
1937-38 18,851 15,145 5,630,426,000 0.83 4,673,253.58
1938-39 19,591 16,115 5,630,426,000 0.83 4,673,253.58
1939-40 19,596 16,575 5,762,221,000 0.83 4,475,000.00
same time preserve the time-honored principle of the mill tax. By means of the mill tax the University and its governing board have been enabled for many years to count on a definite and calculable amount of support, increasing as the state grows and makes more demands upon the institution. In the legislature of 1931 a proposal was made to put the University's appropriation for current expenses into the general state budget, a procedure which would have destroyed the stability provided by the mill-tax principle. Fortunately, this proposal was unsuccessful, but during the depression years conditions were so changed as to make it quite evident that the retention of the mill-tax law in its old form was undesirable and to raise considerable doubt as to whether it would even be practically possible to do so. During this time the state tax on real property was abolished, and the income of the state began to be derived from the proceeds of the sales tax and other sources. If the old mill tax were to be retained it would have meant that the only tax levied by the state on real property would be that for the support of the institutions of higher education. This was regarded as most undesirable. Furthermore, with the abolition of the state property tax it was not clear that the procedure of assessment and equalization for state purposes would continue indefinitely in the future. Consequently, the new act of 1935 provided that the support of the University and of Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science should come from the general funds of the state instead of from the property tax, and also regulated the amount of the biennial appropriations by making them proportionate to the tax valuation of the state, in much the same manner as before, but with a provision against the contingency Page  106that the Board of Equalization should not continue to function (see Part I: Constitutional Status).

It will be noticed that 1932-33 was the first year in which the University's income was seriously reduced by legislative action. The cut amounted to 15 per cent. In order to meet this situation it was necessary to reduce salaries of faculty and staff, and this was done in accordance with a graduated scale at the rate of 6 per cent, 8 per cent, or 10 per cent. In the next year a still more drastic reduction of the University's income made necessary a very careful study of the situation. When the budget was finally adopted the President reported that the chief methods followed were: first, to make all possible economies in the general services of maintenance and the like; second, as far as possible to consolidate functions; third, to readjust the staffs of the various schools and colleges, eliminating certain positions and reducing the time of others; and fourth, further to decrease salaries. When this second reduction took place, the first $1,500 of each salary was exempted, 8 per cent was cut from the next $2,000, 12 per cent from the next $2,000, 15 per cent from the next, and 20 per cent from anything above that amount. Although these years brought hardship, it was generally recognized that the facts must be faced, and for the most part the inevitable reductions were met in a philosophical spirit. When times became better, salaries were restored as far as possible, but with regard to the merits of each case and not by a general action affecting all alike.

The years of the depression also brought the University into relations with certain of the projects undertaken by the Federal Government. In 1934-35, for example, the so-called freshman colleges were opened and the University undertook the supervision of a considerable number of them. In the fall of 1935 it was reported that thirty-five students from these colleges had been admitted to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. A very considerable amount of minor construction and improvement was done through the help of CWA and WPA funds. Furthermore, the Federal Government, through its two agencies, the FERA and later the NYA, contributed considerable sums toward the support of students who in return were expected to work on approved projects of various kinds. The amount of national student aid is given in Table II.

TABLE IINational Student Aid
Year Agency Number of Students Aided Amount Spent
1933-34 FERA 843 $ 36,840.93
1934-35 FERA 1,416 119,724.12
1935-36 NYA 1,826 157,910.15
1936-37 NYA 1,783 172,756.30
1937-38 NYA 1,156 99,451.59
1938-39 NYA 1,271 115,031.47
1939-40 NYA 1,346 119,149.25

It will have been seen from the materials already presented that in spite of the depression the enrollment of the University was only temporarily reduced and very quickly rose to a hitherto unprecedented total. The uncomfortable result of this process was an increasing shortage of proper housing facilities both for men and for women students, but possibly felt more acutely by the former, since the University had hitherto made no provisions whatsoever for the housing of men students, with the single exception of those fortunate enough to live in the Lawyers' Club. In 1932-33 it became possible to acquire at very small cost Fletcher Hall, a small dormitory which had been erected at private expense. This, of course, was merely a drop in the Page  107bucket. In 1936-37, however, a more ambitious scheme resulted in the construction of Allen House and Rumsey House, named after two pioneers of Ann Arbor and operated by the Michigan Union. A bond issue of $185,000 made possible the erection of these two dormitories, which house about sixty students each. In the summer of 1938 an opportunity to remedy the situation was offered through grants made by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (PWA), originally amounting to $2,522,250, to which the University was expected to add $3,082,750, making a total of $5,605,000. These figures were altered by minor changes in plans which developed later. The University's share was provided, for the most part, by bonds secured by the revenues of the buildings involved, and partly by gift, as will be seen later. The dormitories which were built with PWA assistance were, first, a large group adjacent to the Michigan Union and to Allen-Rumsey House; second, a dormitory for medical students, placed on the Convalescent Hospital grounds at the corner of Catherine Street and Glen Avenue; third, a residence for interns adjoining the University Hospital to the north; fourth, a large dormitory for women on the corner of Observatory and North University avenues; and fifth, a second group of men's residences on the half-block bounded by Church and Willard streets and East University Avenue. Part of the program was an enlargement of the facilities of the power plant, made necessary by the heating requirements of so many new buildings; included also were the erection of a much-needed new Health Service Building for students and a building to house the rapidly growing work in graduate, postgraduate, and children's dentistry.

The new residences more than doubled the student housing capacity of the University, raising it from 1,505 to nearly 3,250. Their construction was in charge of a central building committee consisting of Professor Lewis M. Gram, Director of Physical Plant Extension, and Mr. John C. Christensen, Controller of the University, and a number of assistants. Even during the period of construction what was called the "Michigan house plan" was formulated by the Board of Governors of Residence Halls, under the chairmanship of Karl Litzenberg, Assistant Professor of English, and a personnel was selected to manage the houses. In the fall of 1939 Victor C. Vaughan House, a medical dormitory, was opened, together with the huge West Quadrangle of men's residences, adjacent to the Union. The houses comprising this quadrangle, except for two, Michigan House and Chicago House, were named after well-known teachers of the past — Henry Carter Adams, Alfred Henry Lloyd, Alexander Winchell, George Palmer Williams, and Robert Mark Wenley. In February Madelon Louisa Stockwell Hall opened its doors to about three hundred and ninety women. It was decided, however, to postpone the opening of the East Quadrangle of men's residences until September, 1940. The four houses of this quadrangle bear the names of Charles Ezra Greene, Moses Coit Tyler, Albert Benjamin Prescott, and Burke Aaron Hinsdale.

The unification of the business management of the women's dormitories was initiated in February, 1933. Not only has this proved very advantageous to the existing residences for women, but without a policy of this sort it would be wholly unsafe for the University to embark upon a program of enlarged dormitory facilities such as is now in prospect. It was expected that L. Paul Buckley, Manager of the Michigan Union and formerly Assistant Secretary of the University, would act as business manager. Page  108Buckley's sudden death in June, 1933, however, prevented him from more than making a beginning. His successor, until the winter of 1939, was Mrs. Ellen S. Stanley. Francis C. Shiel is now in general charge of the business and maintenance management of the dormitories for the Board of Governors of Residence Halls. The business management of the League was combined with that of the dormitories from 1934 to 1937.

State building operations lapsed during the depression years. The legislature of 1931 cancelled all outstanding plans, among which were some that concerned the University, and no subsequent legislature has attempted to revive the abandoned projects. There was, however, a very considerable amount of building during the years 1929-40. The University Elementary School was commenced during the summer of 1929 and was made ready for occupancy in the fall of the next year. This was the only building during the period erected from state appropriations made directly to the University. However, the tuberculosis unit, which was added to the University Hospital in the form of additional stories in 1930, and the Neuropsychiatric Institute, the contract of which was let in April, 1938, were built from state appropriations made specifically for these purposes and not as a part of the general building plan of the University itself. The Neuropsychiatric Institute is to the rear of the surgical wing of the University Hospital.

Far more extensive was the building which was done at the expense of donors or by affiliated institutions such as the Michigan Union. Between 1929 and 1933 three important units of the Law Quadrangle were completed and put into service — the John P. Cook Building, the William W. Cook Legal Research Library, and Hutchins Hall, which contains the offices and classrooms of the Law School. Mosher-Jordan Halls, a combination of dormitories housing approximately four hundred and fifty girls, was completed in the summer of 1930. The Detroit alumni contributed the site of this building, and its erection was financed by issuing certificates of participation in the income of the Halls. The Michigan League Building, a completed structure, was formally turned over to the Regents in April, 1930, and in the next year the University acquired by gift of Dexter M. Ferry, Jr., of Detroit, the University Publications Building, on Maynard Street, in which are housed the University's printing plant and the sales and storage departments of the University of Michigan Press.

In 1935-36 the erection of one of the most beautiful buildings on the campus, the new building of the Graduate School, was begun. This is a memorial to the late Horace H. Rackham, of Detroit, and was presented to the University by the trustees of the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund. It was dedicated on June 17, 1938, during the Commencement week. The Burton Memorial Tower, which houses the Charles Baird Carillon, was built during 1936; the carillon was dedicated on December 4 of that year with appropriate ceremonies. This tower was erected on land adjacent to Hill Auditorium and paid for by contributions from the Ann Arbor University of Michigan Club and from other friends of the University, together with certain trust funds which could appropriately be devoted to the purpose. Its entire cost was approximately $250,000. To this must be added mention of the new Health Service and the new dentistry building which formed part of the PWA building program carried out in 1939 and 1940. These structures stand side by side on Fletcher Street between Felch Park and North University Avenue, the latter of these being adjacent to Page  109and connected with the older Dentistry Building. The new Health Service was financed, like the residence halls, by a bond issue; its facilities, needless to say, represent a very great improvement over what was previously available.

The University's share of the cost of a new dentistry building, amounting to more than $250,000, was donated by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, and the name, W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute of Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry, was assigned to it in commemoration of this fact. The Foundation had for several years been interested in a public health program in the southwestern counties of Michigan and had frequently co-operated with the University in this connection. The Kellogg Foundation Institute is superbly equipped for work in children's dentistry and for graduate study, research work, and the postgraduate courses which enable dental practitioners to keep themselves abreast of the times. The new building was dedicated April 3, 1940.

The erection of Allen House and Rumsey House in connection with the Michigan Union has already been mentioned. The Union itself also undertook, with the approval of the Regents, to erect an addition which provides many more guest-rooms, together with headquarters for the University Club and the International Center for foreign students. This $400,000 addition was completed in 1938.

The completion of Hutchins Hall in 1933, which made it possible for the Law School to vacate its building on the campus, permitted also a rearrangement of the space allotted to a number of the University departments. The old Law Building was named Haven Hall in honor of former President Erastus O. Haven; it is now occupied by the departments of history, sociology, and journalism, the University Extension Service, and the Bureau of Government. The President's office, which since President Angell's time had been located in University Hall, was moved to the quarters in Angell Hall vacated by the Department of History, and an adjacent room was designated the Regents' room.

To the improvement of the teaching personnel and its regulation, and of the personnel of graduate instruction in particular, the University gave considerable attention during these years. In 1929-30 a survey was made of all faculty members called by a title not higher than that of instructor. It appeared that only 11.5 per cent of the full-time instructors had received the doctor of philosophy or doctor of science degree, and only 18.2 per cent professional degrees. Nearly half of this group were registered in the Graduate School, and it was apparent that the departments were in the habit of using their instructorships for the encouragement of their more promising advanced students. The survey disclosed a far from satisfactory situation, and accordingly it was decided, in May, 1932, to substitute such terms as teaching fellow, research assistant, and technical assistant for the titles junior instructor, part-time instructor, and the like. A revision of the official standards for appointment to the several faculty ranks and for promotion from rank to rank was adopted by the University Council and approved by the Regents in April, 1935. In this statement also the term teaching fellow was used to designate a member of the instructing staff who had not yet attained the doctorate or its equivalent.

A serious situation, affecting a large group of the University's most respected teachers, was corrected by the revision of the scheme for retiring allowances which took place in June, 1930, and was made effective the following year. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement Page  110of Teaching, as is well known, found it impossible to provide retiring allowances for all college teachers on the scale originally intended. Members of the younger group were enabled to provide for the future by means of a participating scheme, wherein both the University and the teachers contribute to the premium. Another group, however, 162 in all, consisting of those who were teaching in 1915 and whose sixty-fifth birthday occurred in 1932 or thereafter, were seriously affected by the reduction of their expectations from the Foundation and were not eligible to join the participating plan. The scheme which was proposed and adopted stipulated that the teachers should contribute 5 per cent of their salaries and the University the balance, in order to provide pensions on the original scale with a maximum of $4,000. To do this, a considerable increase had to be made in the University's budget. Unfortunately, although a similar scheme for nonacademic employees has been studied and outlined, the cost, in view of the general economic situation, has made it impossible as yet to extend the system to cover this group. A low-cost hospitalization plan, however, was made available to all University employees in 1939 and a medical insurance plan was put into operation in 1940.

In November, 1934, the Regents, on Dr. Ruthven's recommendation, formally adopted the policy of permitting faculty members who have carried on administrative duties for fifteen years or more to retire from such duties in the expectation of being appointed to distinguished professorships. Thus, when Marcus L. Ward relinquished the deanship of the School of Dentistry he became Jonathan Taft Professor of Dentistry, and on Herbert C. Sadler's resignation of the deanship of the College of Engineering in October, 1934, which was caused by ill health, he was appointed Alexander Ziwet Professor of Engineering. Henry C. Anderson succeeded him as Dean of the College.

The death of G. Carl Huber on December 26, 1934, made necessary a reorganization of the Graduate School. He was succeeded in the deanship by Clarence Stone Yoakum, and Professor Peter Okkelberg was appointed Assistant Dean of the School. The principle that the Graduate School is interested in and should foster the research activities of the University, in addition to its advanced teaching, was recognized in the ensuing reorganization. For a number of years the University had provided the faculty research fund, from which the expenses of miscellaneous research projects were paid. It had been under the supervision of a special committee, but at this time was placed officially in the charge of the Executive Board of the Graduate School, and the policy of centering in the Graduate School all research projects the expenses of which are paid by or through the University was adopted. The budgets of these projects are regularly reviewed and approved by the Executive Board and reported by the School to the Regents. When in 1935 the generous gift of the trustees of the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund provided an endowment of $4,000,000, the income of which was to be used for research and similar purposes of the School, the new Board of Governors was created, consisting of the president, the dean of the School, and three members of the Board of Trustees of the Rackham Fund. Proposals for the expenditure of this money are regularly reviewed in the first instance by divisional committees, secondly by the Executive Board of the Graduate School, and finally by the Board of Governors. The name of the School itself was changed in 1935 to the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

Page  111Research in papyrology and archaeology has continued during President Ruthven's administration, at first under the auspices of the committee on Near East research which had been formed during Professor Francis W. Kelsey's lifetime. In 1931 a more permanent organization, under the name, Institute of Archaeological Research of the University of Michigan, was authorized by the Regents. During this period the work at Karanis, Egypt, was completed and several annual campaigns were conducted in Iraq at Seleucia on the Tigris. Increased legal research was permitted as a result of the receipt of the Cook bequest. At first the establishment of a legal research institute was planned, and, as a matter of fact, such an organization existed during parts of the years 1930 and 1931. This was, however, discontinued, since the present organization of the Law School was believed sufficient to care for these activities. Astronomical research in South Africa continued throughout the whole period; all current expense after July 1, 1937, has been assumed by the municipality of Bloemfontein and the South African government. The Bureau of Forest Research and the Bureau of Forest Extension were created and placed under the direction of the dean of the School of Forestry and Conservation in April, 1930, and in the same year the state Department of Conservation established the Institute for Fisheries Research at the University.

In the spring of 1938 came a very interesting development: the proposal was made that the University conduct graduate work at the state teachers' colleges. A method of doing this was promptly worked out, and the courses were first offered in the year 1938-39. Professor Clifford Woody, of the School of Education, as Graduate Adviser to the Teachers Colleges, is the co-ordinator of this work on behalf of the University.

The gifts received by the University during the first years of President Ruthven's administration reached figures entirely unprecedented in the history of the institution. During the very first year of this period, by the death of William W. Cook, of New York, the University fell heir to an estate at that time valued at $14,800,000 — a sum which was very quickly and materially reduced, however, by reason of the fall in security prices. In the same year former Governor Chase S. Osborn presented a large tract of land on Sugar and Duck Islands, the Honorable Charles Lathrop Pack established the George Willis Pack Forestry Foundation of $200,000, and the Charles H. Ditson bequest of $100,000 for musical purposes came to the University. In 1930-31 the estimated total of gifts accepted by the Regents was $315,000. In the next year, 1931-32, Messrs. Francis C. McMath, Robert R. McMath, and Henry S. Hulbert, of Detroit, presented to the University their observatory on Lake Angelus in Oakland County, a benefaction for which the institution was to become increasingly grateful as the solar research, with instruments designed by Robert R. McMath, produced, in the years that followed, more and more spectacular results. A total of nearly $385,000 in gifts was announced in 1933-34. The largest of these was the bequest of $100,000 from the late Horace H. Rackham, of Detroit, to provide an educational loan fund. In the following year Charles Baird, of Kansas City, Missouri, gave the University the splendid carillon which bears his name and which has been hung in the Burton Memorial Tower. A total of $8,370,994.35 in gifts made in 1935-36 was formally recorded in the Regents' Proceedings. The largest part of this amount is accounted for by the gift of the Graduate School Building and an endowment of $4,000,000 for the School from the trustees of the Horace Page  112H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund. To this amount Mrs. Rackham personally added $1,000,000 to provide for research in the problems of human adjustment. In 1936-37 the total amount of new gifts reported to the Regents was $1,190,383.10, and in 1937-38 the total of similar items reached $1,027,594.83. During that year the trustees of the Rackham Fund provided a fund of $100,000 for undergraduate scholarships and $500,000 to finance a sociological research unit. The first work under the auspices of this unit is being done in the Flint area. In 1938-39 it was announced that provision had been made for erecting a building in Detroit to be shared by the University, for its extension work in the city, and the Engineering Society of Detroit. The initial gifts for this purpose were $1,000,000, to which the donors, the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund, and Mrs. Rackham personally, added later. The gift of the W. K. Kellogg Institute of Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry, originally $236,500, but later increased, also came in this year. With the PWA appropriations of $2,541,330, the gifts of 1938-39 totaled $4,160,503.33; but without the federal grants they amounted to $1,619,173.33. Gifts to the University in 1939-40 reached a total of $1,809,027.64, included in which were $500,000 additional for the Horace H. Rackham Educational Memorial Building in Detroit, and, from an anonymous source, $500,000 to be added to the endowment of the Institute of Human Adjustment. Another notable benefaction was the gift of $200,000 which was made by John W. Anderson, to establish the James Orin Murfin Professorship of Political Science, in honor of former Regent Murfin, a friend of many years; there were also $100,000, from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, to make possible a reorganization of the Department of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, and $100,000 from the McGregor Fund, of Detroit, to defray the cost of the new solar tower and laboratory building of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory at Lake Angelus.

The alumni body, as well as the University itself, has experienced some of the benefits of the movement toward simpler and more effective organization which has been characteristic of these years. The creation of the University's own Bureau of Alumni Relations has already been briefly mentioned. Perhaps quite as important was the general reorganization of the Alumni Association early in 1934, the most notable feature of which was the provision of an executive committee of seven to act for the Board of Directors in the long periods between the meetings of that body. It consists of the president of the Alumni Association and the president of the University ex officio, an administrative officer of the University, two faculty members of alumni status, and two directors of the Alumni Association. The committee was intended and has proved to be an effective means of liaison between the University and its alumni association. At the same time a rearrangement of the financial affairs of the Association took place. The depression years had much reduced the Association's income, and its indebtedness had mounted. Through the allocation of a part of the student dues to the Union and the sale of the assets comprised in the printing plant owned by the Alumni Association, much of the difficulty was eliminated, and at the same time it was possible to begin, in March, 1934, the printing, in connection with the Michigan Alumnus, of the Quarterly Review, a need for which had long been felt.

In May, 1930, was held the first meeting of the Alumni Advisory Council, a large group of alumni and alumnae including past officers and directors of the Page  113Association, representatives of groups, and members nominated by the president of the University, who have assembled each Commencement week thereafter to hear and discuss reports on various phases of the University's work. The Council is the outgrowth of less formal gatherings which came together at President Burton's invitation and, on occasion, even before his administration. President Ruthven gave it a permanent status and associated it directly with the University through the University's Bureau of Alumni Relations. Special alumni advisory committees, in connection with the central Council, were arranged for specific divisions of the University, the members being selected with a view to their individual interests and preferences.

The ten-year program of the Alumni Association, strictly speaking, terminated in 1937. When this time was reached, however, the results had been so productive and the interest aroused among the alumni had become so active that the Association voted not to drop the program but to make it a continuing activity, with a review of results at the end of each ten-year period.

The Commencement season of 1937 was marked by the celebration of the completion of one hundred years of the University in Ann Arbor. An elaborate program of addresses, round tables, and discussions was arranged, the participants being almost without exception alumni of the University who had attained high distinction in their various fields. The community dinner held in the Intramural Building, marking the completion of one hundred years of relations between the University and the city, was an especially noteworthy event. The University of Michigan Press later published the proceedings of the Celebration in the form of a book entitled A University Between Two Centuries.

The Student Christian Association in 1935-36 transferred to the University all its property and was in 1937 succeeded by the Student Religious Association, the change in name marking the intention to broaden the purposes of the organization.

The organization of women students also was definitely improved by combining in the Michigan League Council the former Women's League and the Michigan League. This was done in the second semester of 1933-34. Two general revisions of student fees were made, one in July, 1933, and the second in February, 1936. By the latter the matriculation and diploma fees were entirely abolished and the entire expense to the student was confined to the payment of a single fee to the University. Since 1936 the Commencement exercises have been held on Saturday evening in order to make it easier for alumni and the friends of the graduates to attend. Small-sized diplomas were introduced after Commencement, 1937, for all receiving degrees except those in the law, medical, and dental schools; in 1939, however, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Engineering returned to the use of the larger form.

Previous to President Ruthven's administration the University did very little in the way of scholarship aid for its undergraduate students, although there were means for making educational loans, and scholarships and fellowships in the Graduate School had been maintained for many years past. In May, 1931, the Regents took a new step by establishing the Michigan Alumni Undergraduate Scholarships, a specified number of which may be granted by the University to residents of the state from a list of candidates proposed by the alumni clubs. At approximately the same time there were established also the University Scholarships in the professional schools, three each being allotted to the Page  114Medical School and the Law School, two each to the School of Education and the School of Dentistry, and one each to the School of Forestry and the School of Business Administration. The recipients of these scholarships are outstanding and deserving students recommended by the faculties. It is interesting to observe, too, that in 1932 the Regents recognized the fact that the first benefaction made to the University in the days of its infancy came from the Indians of this vicinity in the form of the gift of a tract of land. This recognition took the form of the establishment of five American Indian scholarships in the University.

The Board of Regents during the first part of President Ruthven's administration experienced a number of changes in personnel. In October, 1929, Regent Benjamin S. Hanchett, of Grand Rapids, was succeeded by Mrs. Esther Marsh Cram, of Flint. Regent Victor M. Gore retired from the Board the same year and was succeeded by the Honorable R. Perry Shorts, of Saginaw. In April, 1931, Dr. Walter H. Sawyer, of Hillsdale, who had served on the Board since January 1, 1906, suddenly died. His place was taken in May of the same year by Dr. Richard R. Smith, of Grand Rapids. January, 1933, saw the retirement of Regent Lucius L. Hubbard, of Houghton. The Honorable Edmund C. Shields, of Lansing, was appointed by Governor Comstock to fill out the term of Regent Hubbard and Messrs. Franklin M. Cook, of Hillsdale, and Charles F. Hemans, of Lansing, who had been successful in the 1932 election, took the places that were vacated by Regents James O. Murfin and William Lawrence Clements. In March, 1934, Regent Shorts resigned and former Regent Murfin was appointed to fill out his term. In 1935, as the result of the election held that year, the Honorable David H. Crowley, of Detroit, took Regent Shields's place, but Mr. Shields and the Honorable John D. Lynch, of Detroit, were successful in the elections of 1937 and replaced Regents Murfin and Smith. In 1939 Regents Ralph Stone and Junius E. Beal retired from the Board and were succeeded by Messrs. J. Joseph Herbert, of Manistique, and Harry G. Kipke, of Ypsilanti. Regent Beal's term of office, thirty-two years, was the longest in the history of the Board of Regents.

It remains to speak of the important changes in University personnel which took place between 1929 and 1940. By death the University lost the following full professors and administrative officers: Ralph H. Curtiss, Max Winkler, Claude H. Van Tyne, George W. Patterson, Preston M. Hickey, Albert J. Rousseau, Aldred S. Warthin, Roy Bishop Canfield, Evans Holbrook, Fred M. Taylor, Charles W. Cook, George Slocum, John R. Effinger, L. Paul Buckley, Albert R. Crittenden, Charles H. Fessenden, Albert Lockwood, Samuel Moore, G. Carl Huber, Tobias J. C. Diekhoff, Chalmers J. Lyons, Albert M. Barrett, Louis A. Strauss, Ura G. Rickert, Alfred O. Lee, Henry C. Anderson, Max S. Handman, D. Murray Cowie, Roderick D. McKenzie, Hugo P. Thieme, and Arthur L. Cross.

Those who retired during this period by reason of age were the following: Joseph H. Drake, Reuben Peterson, Robert A. Campbell, Walter R. Parker, James B. Pollock, William H. Hobbs, Frederick G. Novy, Edwin C. Goddard, Moses Gomberg, S. Lawrence Bigelow, William D. Henderson, Theodore R. Running, Earle W. Dow, James W. Glover, Clarence L. Meader, Horace W. King, Henry A. Sanders, Herbert C. Sadler, Emil Lorch, and Walter B. Ford.

New appointments to the faculties included Verner W. Crane, who in 1930 took charge of the courses in American history, succeeding Professor Van Tyne; Page  115Heber D. Curtis, who succeeded the late Ralph H. Curtiss as Chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Director of the Observatories; Howard Mumford Jones in the Department of English from 1930 until June, 1936; Roderick D. McKenzie, who succeeded the late Charles Horton Cooley as Chairman of the Department of Sociology and was, in turn, upon his death in the spring of 1940, succeeded by Robert Cooley Angell; Edward B. Mains and William Randolph Taylor in the Department of Botany; E. L. Eriksen as Chairman of the Department of Engineering Mechanics; C. L. Jamison as Professor of Business Policy; John E. Tracy, Laylin K. James, Hessel E. Yntema, and Lewis M. Simes in the Law School; Willett F. Ramsdell as George Willis Pack Professor of Forest Land Management; Wassily Besekirsky and Arthur Hackett in the School of Music; Theophile Raphael in psychiatry; Max S. Handman and William Haber in economics; Jean Hébrard in architecture; Norman F. Miller in obstetrics, succeeding Dr. Reuben Peterson; Fred J. Hodges in roentgenology, succeeding the late Preston M. Hickey; Carl E. Badgley in orthopedic surgery; Thomas A. Knott in English, succeeding the late Samuel Moore; Robert W. Kelso as the director of the program in social work; H. W. Nordmeyer, who succeeded John W. Eaton as Chairman of the Department of German; Bradley M. Patten in anatomy, succeeding the late G. Carl Huber; Kasimir Fajans in chemistry; and Jesse Ormondroyd and E. T. Vincent in engineering mechanics and mechanical engineering respectively. Lieutenant Colonel Basil D. Edwards was Professor of Military Science and Tactics from 1929 to 1933 and again was assigned to the University of Michigan in 1937. In the interval of his absence Lieutenant Colonel Frederick C. Rogers held the position.

Several who came to the University in the autumn of 1929 have since been advanced to the full professorship. Among these are Edgar H. Gault in the School of Business Administration; Cooper H. Langford in the Department of Philosophy, Warner G. Rice and Hereward T. Price in the Department of English, Willard C. Olson in the School of Education, and, in the Medical School, F. Bruce Fralick and Raymond W. Waggoner, chairmen of the departments of ophthalmology and psychiatry, respectively. Professor Waggoner is also Director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute, and Professor Olson is Director of Research in Child Development in the University Elementary School.

Of the present staff, the other men who came during the present administration and subsequently have been given full professorial rank, are as follows: Roger Bailey, who came in 1932, now Professor of Architecture; Dr. Paul H. Jeserich (1933), now Professor of Operative Dentistry, Director of the Operative Clinic, and Director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry; and in 1934, Thomas S. Lovering, now Professor of Economic Geology, and Harlan C. Koch, now Professor of Education and Assistant Director of the Bureau of Co-operation with Educational Institutions.

Among the well-known professors who left the University's service by resignation during the period were Charles S. Berry of the School of Education and Theodore Harrison of the School of Music in 1930; Carter L. Goodrich of the Department of Economics in 1931; Robert T. Crane of the Department of Political Science and Samuel P. Lockwood of the School of Music in 1933; Aubrey Tealdi of the Department of Landscape Design in 1934; Robert K. Brown of the School of Dentistry, Carleton B. Joeckel of the Department of Page  116Library Science, and James M. O'Neill of the Department of Speech in 1935; Oscar J. Campbell and Howard Mumford Jones of the Department of English, Morris A. Copeland of the Department of Economics, Thomas H. Reed of the Department of Political Science, Stephen Timoshenko of the Department of Engineering Mechanics, George L. Jackson of the School of Education, and Ernest M. Fisher of the School of Business Administration in 1936; Walter L. Badger of the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering and Erwin E. Nelson of the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in 1937.


The Ann Arbor News, Oct. 28, 1939.
"Many Gifts Honor Ruthven Achievements."Mich. Alum., 46 (1939): 125-26, 130.
"Performs President's Duties."Mich. Alum., 36 (1929): 5.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1929-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1929-40. (R.P.).
Ruthven, Alexander G."A Brief for the Large University."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 32, No. 37), No. 5 (1931): 3-10.
Ruthven, Alexander G."A Decade of University History."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 41, No. 68), No. 31 (1940): 3-8.
Ruthven, Alexander G."Education and Service."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 44 (1938): 296-97.
Ruthven, Alexander G."The Red Schoolhouse."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., pp. 213-15.
Ruthven, Alexander G."Some Problems of the University."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 31, No. 27), No. 1 (1929): 3-16.
Ruthven, Alexander G."The University College."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 347-48.
"Ruthven Is Seventh President."Mich. Alum., 36 (1929): 27-28.
A University Between Two Centuries: the Proceedings of the 1937 Celebration of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Wilfred B. Shaw. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Press, 1937.
The University Record, Vols. 1-3 (1938-40).


THE foundations of the constitutional status of the University of Michigan were laid long prior to the writing of specific provisions into the constitution of the state. The roots of those provisions are to be found in the early history of the Northwest Territory and in the early efforts to establish education as one of the necessary functions of government (Hinsdale, Chap. XVI).

On May 20, 1785, the Congress adopted "an ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of lands in the western country," establishing a system of rectangular land surveys for the new country. The ordinance contained the forward looking provision that "there shall be reserved the lot No. 16 of every township for the maintenance of public schools within the said township." The significance of this early provision can scarcely be overestimated. It gives evidence of a recognition by the central government of its obligation and duty Page  117to provide at government expense for education within the Northwest Territory — this in a day when public schools were almost an unknown phenomenon, even in the states already established.

Two years later, on July 13, 1787, the Congress adopted the measure, known as the Ordinance of 1787, entitled "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio," and on July 23 of the same year a supplementary measure was adopted, entitled "Powers to the Board of Treasury to Contract for the Sale of Western Territory." These two enactments were a part of the same general plan, and each of them contained important provisions concerning education. The earlier of the two, i.e., the ordinance, contained the often quoted general declaration: "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged" (Northwest Ordinance, Art. 3).

The supplementary measure of July 23 was more specific. It reiterated the grant of 1785 allocating lot No. 16 in each township "to be given perpetually for the purpose of maintenance of the public schools within the township," and, more importantly so far as the University is concerned, it added:

[Not more than two complete townships] shall be given perpetually for the purpose of a university, to be laid off by the purchaser or purchasers as near the centre as may be, so that the same shall be of good land, to be applied to the intended object by the legislature of the state.

These three measures, adopted by the Congress of the Confederation and, in effect, made a part of the fundamental law of the Northwest Territory, established a unique and valuable policy with respect to the encouragement and support of both elementary and higher education. Furthermore, it was a policy of remarkable vitality, as is amply attested by the fact that it has ever since been reflected to a greater or less extent in the fundamental law of the part of the Territory carved out in 1837 to form the state of Michigan.

In 1817 the predecessor of the University, the Catholepistemiad, was established by a territorial act (II Terr. Laws, 1817, p. 104), and in 1821, by a new enactment, the University itself was created as a "body politic and corporate" (I Terr. Laws, 1821, p. 879).

In pursuance of the policy established by the ordinances of 1785 and 1787, the Congress on May 20, 1826, passed the following measure:

[The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized] to set apart and reserve from sale out of any of the public lands within the Territory of Michigan to which the Indian title has been extinguished a quantity of land not exceeding two entire townships for the use and support of a university.

(4 U. S. Stat. L. 180.)

The grant was early accepted by the state (Laws, 1835-36, p. 149), and the Congress confirmed the selection of lands (5 U. S. Stat. L. 59). The superintendent of public instruction was directed to sell not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars' worth of these lands and to deposit the proceeds to the credit of a University interest fund (Laws, 1837, p. 209). The fund thus established, together with income in the form of fees and miscellaneous gifts, constituted the principal source of financial support of the University of Michigan until 1867. In that year additional financial aid was sought and obtained from the state legislature. The interest fund even today amounts to a considerable sum — about $38,000 per year (Price, pp. 26 ff.).

This federal territorial policy of providing both encouragement and continuing fiscal support for the University was Page  118subsequently carried on by the state in a wise and generous way. On the fiscal side, after the interest fund became insufficient to care for the needs of the growing institution, the "mill-tax" laws were passed to provide the necessary funds. The first of these laws, passed in 1867, consisted of an appropriation for the support of the University of a sum equal to one-twentieth of a mill on each dollar of taxable property in the state. Perhaps the most valuable and certainly the unique feature of this measure and its successors was their continuing nature, i.e., instead of being biennial appropriations, they were in reality permanent laws continuing from year to year until changed by subsequent affirmative legislative enactment. They thus approximated the permanence of the federal land endowment for the University. They gave the institution the stability enjoyed by the large privately endowed schools of the East. With some variations the policy of this mill-tax law of 1867 has been continued until the present day, and, although it is a statutory rather than a constitutional device, it has become so thoroughly a part of the accepted legislative practice and of the tradition of the state as virtually to share the permanent status of fundamental law. (See Appendix A, p. 136, for a list of the mill-tax acts.) It constitutes one of the major reasons for the fact that the University of Michigan has attained a first place among the state universities of the country.

The Constitution of 1835. — When Michigan adopted its first constitution, in 1835, two express provisions were written into the fundamental law concerning higher education. (See Appendix B, p. 137, for full text of provisions for University and public-school support in the Constitution of 1835.) One of these, section 2 of Article X, was general and followed the style set by the similar declaration in the Ordinance of 1787. It stipulated that "the legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the promotion of intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement." The other provision was more specific. In section 5 of Article X was the requirement:

… the legislature shall take measures for the protection and improvement or other disposition of such lands as have been or may hereafter be reserved or granted by the United States to this state for the support of a university; and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such lands or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid shall be and remain a permanent fund for the support of said university.

These provisions were written into the constitution in an effort to pursue the policy established by the national government during territorial days. They were good so far as they went; however, they left full power in the legislature to manage the affairs of the University, to regulate the appointment of the Regents, to establish or abolish departments, to regulate the appointment of professors, and to control expenditures from the University funds. In short, they left the internal administration of the University fully subject to the changing desires of the political arena at the state Capitol, then in Detroit.

In spite of early efforts to build the University into a strong institution, success and prosperity were not achieved in the period between 1835 and the revision of the constitution in 1850. The more thoughtful public men of the time felt that one of the reasons for the failure of the University to develop rapidly was the fact that its functioning was dependent upon and subject to the changing policies of the legislature. They felt that under such conditions the University could not attain the degree of stability, permanence, independence, and strength enjoyed by the denominational and endowed Page  119colleges of the East. The shortcomings were functional rather than fiscal.

In 1840 a select committee was appointed by the legislature to inquire into the condition of the University. A part of the report of the committee indicates clearly the consensus of contemporary opinion concerning higher education in the state:

No State institution in America has prospered as well as independent colleges with equal, and often with less, means. Why they have not may be ascribed, in part, to the following causes: They have not been guided by that oneness of purpose and singleness of aim (essential to their prosperity) that others have whose trustees are a permanent body, — men chosen for their supposed fitness for that very office, and who, having become acquainted with their duties, can and are disposed to pursue a steady course, which inspires confidence and insures success, to the extent of their limited means. State institutions, on the contrary, have fallen into the hands of the several legislatures, fluctuating bodies of men, chosen with reference to their supposed qualifications for other duties than cherishing literary institutions. When legislatures have legislated directly for colleges, their measures have been as fluctuating as the changing materials of which the legislatures were composed. When they have acted through a board of trustees, under the show of giving a representation to all, they have appointed men of such dissimilar and discordant characters and views that they never could act in concert; so that, whilst supposed to act for and represent everybody, they, in fact, have not and could not act for anybody.

Again, legislatures, wishing to retain all the power of the State in their own hands, as if they alone were competent or disposed to act for the general good, have not been willing to appoint trustees for a length of time sufficient for them to become acquainted with their duties, to become interested in the cause which they were appointed to watch over, and feel the deep responsibility of the trust committed to them. A new board of trustees, like a legislature of new members, not knowing well what to do, generally begins by undoing and disorganizing all that has been done before. At first they dig up the seed a few times, to see that it is going to come up; and, after it appears above the surface, they must pull it up, to see that the roots are sound; and they must pull it up again, to see if there is sufficient root to support so vigorous branches; then lop off the branches, for fear they will exhaust the root; and then pull it up again, to see why it looks so sickly and pining, and finally to see if they can discover what made it die. And, as these several operations are performed by successive hands, no one can be charged with the guilt of destroying the valuable tree. Whilst State institutions have been, through the jealousy of State legislatures, thus sacrificed to the impatience and petulance of a heterogeneous and changeable board of trustees, whose term of office is so short that they have not time to discover their mistakes, retrace their steps, and correct their errors, it is not surprising that State universities have hitherto, almost without exception, failed to accomplish, in proportion to their means, the amount of good that was expected from them, and much less thancolleges in their neighborhood, patronized by the religious public, watched over by a board of trustees of similar qualifications for duty, and holding the office permanently, that they may profit by experience.

The argument by which legislatures have hitherto convinced themselves that it was their duty to legislate universities to death is this: "It is a State institution, and we are the direct representatives of the people, and therefore it is expected of us; it is our right. The people have an interest in this thing, and we must attend to it." As if, because a university belongs to the people, that were reason why it should be dosed to death for fear it would be sick, if left to be nursed, like other institutions, by its immediate guardians. Thus has State after State, in this American Union, endowed universities, and then, by repeated contradictory and over legislation, torn them to pieces with the same facility as they do the statute book, and for the same reason, because they have the right.

(2 H. Doc., 1840, p. 470.)

Page  120The Constitution of 1850. — Such was the condition of affairs when the constitutional convention of 1850 met. Any reader of the debates of that convention will be impressed with the attitude of the delegates toward higher education. They recognized the need of removing the University from changing political influences and yet keeping it directly responsible and amenable to the people (Debates, pp. 782-85, 804, 846).

As a result of the work of the convention, provisions were therefore written into the Constitution of 1850 (Art. XIII) to establish the University as an independent constitutional corporation under the control of a Board of Regents elected directly by the people.* The Board was made a body corporate, to be known by the name and title of "the Regents of the University of Michigan." Then followed the all-important clause: "The Board of Regents shall have the general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from the University interest fund." By virtue of these provisions a quasi-independent constitutional corporation was substituted for the prior dependent statutory agency, and a permanent and stable educational plan for the University of Michigan was brought into being. Responsibility directly to the people of the state was substituted for responsibility to the state legislature. (For the full text of University provisions in the amended Constitution of 1850, see Appendix C, p. 137.)

Some years later, in the case of Sterling v. The Regents of the University of Michigan (110 Mich. 369 [1896]), involving the interpretation of the University clauses in the Constitution of 1850, Mr. Justice Grant phrased the results of the convention as follows:

Obviously it was not the intention of the framers of the Constitution to take away from the people the government of this institution. On the contrary, they designed to, and did, provide for its management and control by a body of eight men elected by the people at large. They recognized the necessity that it should be in charge of men elected for long terms, and whose sole official duty it should be to look after its interests, and who should have the opportunity to investigate its needs, and carefully deliberate and determine what things would best promote its usefulness for the benefit of the people. Some of the members of the convention of 1850 referred in the debates to two colleges (one in Virginia and the other in Massachusetts) which had been failures under the management by the State. It is obvious to every intelligent and reflecting mind that such an institution would be safer and more certain of permanent success in the control of such a body than in that of the legislature, composed of 132 members, elected every two years, many of whom would, of necessity, know but little of its needs, and would have little or no time to intelligently investigate and determine the policy essential for the success of a great university.

Judicial interpretation of the "general-supervision" clause. — The language thus written into the constitution established a vital policy, but it was couched in general terms and required interpretation. What was meant by the words "general supervision," and by "control" of expenditures? A considerable period of time elapsed before these phrases were submitted to the courts of the state for authoritative interpretation.

The first case that reached the Supreme Court was People v. The Regents of the University of Michigan (4 Mich. 98), decided in 1856. The court was asked to issue a writ of mandamus to compel the Regents to establish a professorship of Page  121homeopathy. In 1855 the legislature had amended the act of 1851 by adding the demand that the University employ at least one professor of homeopathy (Laws, 1855, p. 232). The Board answered the prayer for a writ, stating that, although the right of the legislature to interfere with the administration of the University was not admitted, nevertheless the Board, out of respect for the wishes of the legislature, was taking all reasonable steps to comply with the amendment and to secure a professor of homeopathy. It was alleged that a committee had been appointed to explore the field in both Europe and America, to the end that the best available man might be selected. It was further alleged that the committee had not yet had time to report, and that without full deliberation wise action could not be taken. The plaintiff demurred to the answer.

The court (per Wing, J.) refused to issue the writ and quoted the provisions of the Constitution of 1850 to the effect that "the Board of Regents shall have the general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from the University interest fund." The members of the Board of Regents were referred to as "constitutional officers," but the decision in the case was not based upon constitutional grounds. Instead, mention was made of the efforts of the Board to secure a professor of homeopathy and of the short time which had elapsed since the effective date of the amendment of 1855. The court added:

[The Regents] aver that they have acted in good faith, but at the same time under the influence of much uncertainty as to the constitutionality of the law, and we are compelled to recognize in this question what might well suggest doubts of the binding force of the law and [what] occasioned some hesitation in their action.

After raising the constitutional question in this way, the court declined to pass upon it. Instead, it chose to refuse to issue the writ on the ground that the Board of Regents had the discretionary power to deliberate for a reasonable period of time in the selection of a professor of homeopathy, and that until such reasonable time should expire the court would decline to exercise its discretionary power to issue the writ.

Because of the fact that the court failed to pass upon the constitutional question, the decision in the case is perhaps of minor significance. The opinion does, however, contain a judicial recognition of the potential constitutional barrier to legislative interference with the administration of the University, and for this reason it must be regarded as a leading case on the subject.

It was not until 1868 that another controversy arose to present the question of the constitutional independence of the Board of Regents in supervision of the University. In that year the case of People ex rel. Regents of the University v. Auditor General (17 Mich. 161) was decided. It appeared that the Board, acting no doubt under the influence of the passage quoted above from the opinion in the case in 1856, had felt obliged to disregard the amendment of 1855 directing the appointment of a professor of homeopathy. In any event, the Board had ceased its efforts to secure such a professor.

In 1867 the University was forced to ask for additional financial support from the legislature. Aid was granted by the passage of the first mill-tax law, appropriating for the University the proceeds of a levy of one-twentieth of a mill upon the taxable property of the state (see Part I: Angell Administration). The legislature had not, however, forgotten its desire for a professor of homeopathy, so the appropriation was made conditional upon the Board of Regents' first Page  122appointing at least one such professor. Thereafter, the Regents, in a quandary but needing the appropriation very badly, passed a resolution purporting to comply with the condition. The resolution contemplated the establishment of a homeopathic department away from Ann Arbor. A professor of homeopathy was duly employed, and a requisition was filed for the payment of his salary voucher. The auditor-general refused to approve the payment on the ground that the condition precedent had not been complied with by the Board's attempt to establish a department of homeopathy at a point separated from the principal campus. The Board sought a writ of mandamus to compel the payment of the salary.

The prayer was in vain. The court divided, two justices feeling that the establishment of a department outside of Ann Arbor fell short of meeting the intent of the legislature and did not adequately comply with the condition precedent, one justice feeling otherwise and so expressing himself, and the fourth justice, Cooley, remaining silent. All justices, however, seemed to agree that the condition precedent was valid, and that if the legislature imposed such conditions they must be performed by the Board if it wished to take advantage of the conditional appropriation.

Since this case was the first adjudication involving a conditional appropriation for the support of the University, it is an important landmark. The action of the court in recognizing by implication the validity of conditions precedent established a principle of substantial significance in outlining the constitutional status of the University.

In 1869 the homeopathic dispute flared up once more and resulted in another Supreme Court decision. In People v. The Regents of the University of Michigan (18 Mich. 469) it appeared that application had been made by the attorney general of the state for a writ of mandamus to compel the Regents to comply with the original act of 1855 and to employ a professor of homeopathy. It was alleged that some fourteen years had now elapsed during which the Board might have deliberated upon the selection of a proper man for the position, and that they could no longer with reason claim that further time was needed for consideration. The Board answered, resisting the issuance of the writ of mandamus squarely on the ground that the University was a constitutionally independent corporation so far as supervision was concerned, and that the matter of appointment of professors was for the Board's judgment alone.

The court again, as in the case in 1856, failed to reach a decision on the constitutional point. The four justices divided equally, two of them taking the position that the attempt by the legislature to interfere with the administration of the University was unconstitutional, and two others taking the adverse view. Because of the division in the court, the writ did not issue, but, since two extremely able judges (Graves and Christiancy) felt that the writ should issue, it is apparent that the interpretation of the general-supervision clause was not free from doubt.

Once again the question arose, in 1874, as a result of the order to the Regents in a new enactment passed by the legislature of 1873:

[The Board of Regents shall appoint] two Professors of Homeopathy in the Department of Medicine, viz., one Professor of Theory and Practice and one Professor of Materia Medica, who shall receive the like salary and be entitled to all the rights and privileges of other persons in said Department of Medicine.

(Laws, 1873, No. 63.)

Application was again made by the Page  123attorney general for a writ of mandamus to compel the Board to appoint these professors. In the case of People ex rel. Attorney General v. The Regents of the University (30 Mich. 473), the court once more expressed itself as unable to issue the writ, stating that the judges were still equally divided on the question of whether or not the general-supervision clause established the constitutional independence of the University with regard to this matter.

The troublesome question of the establishment of a department of homeopathy was settled in 1875 by the adoption by the legislature of an act "authorizing" the Regents to establish the Homoeopathic Medical College in Ann Arbor and appropriating $6,000 per year for its support (P.A., 1875, No. 128, p. 156). Pursuant to this act the College was duly established. In 1893 its maintenance was doubly assured by being made a condition attached to the receipt by the University of the mill-tax appropriation of that year (P.A., 1893, No. 19, p. 19).

In 1895 the legislature experienced a change of heart. Instead of continuing in its anxiety to have the Homoeopathic Medical College in Ann Arbor, it enacted a measure commanding the removal of the College to Detroit (P.A., 1895, No. 257, p. 554). The act was carried into the courts a year later in the case of Sterling v. The Regents of the University of Michigan (110 Mich. 369) and was held unconstitutional as an interference with the Regents' power of supervision of the University. (This case, which is of considerable importance in establishing the constitutional status of the University, is more fully described below, pp. 125-26.) Finally, in 1921, the legislative ideas on the subject passed through a third phase, and a joint resolution was adopted requesting the University to abandon the Homeopathic Medical School. Simultaneously, the mill-tax act then in effect was amended to drop the condition which had been incorporated in 1893 requiring the maintenance of the unit in homeopathy, and the entire matter was thereby left in the hands of the Regents (P.A., 1921, No. 247, p. 924). The School was discontinued by action of the Regents in 1922 (R.P. 1920-23, pp. 372-74).

Although the constitutional status of the University was placed before the courts time and time again in the course of this dispute over the Homeopathic Medical College, the earlier litigation was singularly fruitless so far as definitive interpretation was concerned. The precise meaning of the general-supervision clause and the scope of the independence of the Board of Regents remained shrouded in doubt for more than forty years.

It was not until 1893 that a really authoritative interpretation was handed down by the Supreme Court as to the meaning of the all-important language of the constitution. In that year the case of Weinberg v. The Regents of the University of Michigan (97 Mich. 246) was decided. The plaintiff in the case brought suit against the Regents to recover the value of materials furnished to a subcontractor in the building of the University Hospital. The claim was made under the Mechanics' Lien Law of 1883, which imposed the duty on boards or agencies contracting for the erection of buildings "on behalf of the state" to secure bonds to protect subcontractors and material men. The University authorities, in directing the construction of the University Hospital, had ignored this law.

The Regents demurred to the declaration, on the ground that the statute in question did not and could not constitutionally apply to the University. Two arguments were advanced: first, that the statute in question applied only to Page  124buildings built by "the state," and that this should not be interpreted to include the University, which was a separate constitutional corporation; and second, that, even if the statute were intended to apply to the University, it could not constitutionally be so applied in view of the fact that the general supervision of the University was by the constitution vested in the Board of Regents and hence was placed beyond legislative enactment so far as its internal affairs were concerned.

The demurrer was overruled by the trial court, and the Regents carried the case to the Supreme Court. That tribunal reversed the trial court, but was closely divided in its opinion, three justices being in favor of reversal and two in favor of affirmance. Mr. Justice Grant wrote the opinion for the majority. He based his argument for reversal partly upon each of the two grounds of the demurrer. He quoted the provisions of Article XIII, sections 7 and 8, of the Constitution of 1850, and expressed the conclusions of the majority, in part, as follows:

Under the Constitution the state cannot control the action of the Regents. It cannot add to or take away from its property without the consent of the Regents. In making appropriations for its support, the Legislature may attach any conditions it may deem expedient and wise, and the Regents cannot receive the appropriation without complying with the conditions. This has been done in several instances.

Property aggregating in value nearly or quite half a million of dollars has been donated to the University by private individuals. Such property is the property of the University. It is not under the control of the state when it acts through its executive or legislative departments, but of the Regents who are directly responsible to the people for the execution of their trust, so when the state appropriates money to the University, it passes to the Regents and becomes the property of the University to be expended under the exclusive direction of the Regents, and passes beyond the control of the state through its legislative department. …

The people, who are incorporators of this institution of learning, have by their Constitution conferred the entire control and management of its affairs and property upon the corporation designated as "the Regents of the University of Michigan" and have thereby excluded all departments of the state government from any interference therewith. The fact that it is state property does not bring the Regents within the purview of the statute. The people may by their Constitution place any of its institutions or property beyond the control of the Legislature…

These considerations lead me to the conclusion that the Regents are not included in this act and that the judgment should be reversed.

So far as the constitutional status of the University is concerned, this decision lacks something in clarity and definiteness because of the fact that it is partly grounded upon interpretation of the words, "on behalf of the state," in the Mechanics' Lien Law. The constitutional language of the opinion perhaps should be regarded as dictum. Nevertheless, the dictum is so pointed and compelling that the case is frequently cited as a constitutional decision, and in several of the later cases it is regarded as passing directly upon the constitutional position of the University. It is used as twofold authority. In the first place, it is regarded as supporting the conclusion that, under the power of general supervision conferred by the constitution, the management of the University is placed in the hands of the Board of Regents and is not subject to enactments by the state legislature designed for the purpose of governing, controlling, and managing state institutions generally. In the second place, the opinion attains importance by reason of its statement that appropriations Page  125of money made by the legislature for the University become "the property of the University" and pass "beyond the control of the state through its legislative department," except to the extent that such appropriations may be subject to conditions precedent attached by the legislature as a part of the appropriation acts. This second conclusion is particularly significant in consideration of the validity of some of the very recent legislation purporting to confer upon the governor of the state authority to reduce appropriations either pro rata or in his discretion for the purpose of balancing the budget (see p. 131).

The next case involving the interpretation and application of the constitutional provisions relating to the University — and the one which may be regarded as definitive — was Sterling v. The Regents of the University of Michigan, decided in 1896 (110 Mich. 369). As has been previously stated, this case was one of the events in the lengthy dispute over the establishment of a homeopathic medical college in the University. In particular, it arose out of Act No. 257 of the Public Acts of 1895. This act had provided in mandatory form for the removal of the Homeopathic Medical College from Ann Arbor to Detroit. The Regents refused to comply, and Mr. Sterling started proceedings to compel favorable action. The Regents answered the petition, stating that they based their refusal to comply primarily upon the ground that the legislature had no constitutional right to dictate the management of the University. Since the provisions of Act No. 257 were not made a condition precedent to an appropriation, the question of the independence of the supervisory power of the Board of Regents was presented for decision in its clearest form.

The court (Mr. Justice Grant again writing the opinion) refused to issue the writ. The provisions of the Constitution of 1850 were quoted, and the reasons inducing their adoption were set forth at great length. The court felt that the framers of the constitution could not have intended the legislature to interfere in the manner attempted by the act in question. Reference was made to the Weinberg case (97 Mich. 246 [1893]; see p. 123), which was said to be controlling on the constitutional point. The court said that the earlier case might have been relied upon as the sole ground for the decision of the instant case. Nevertheless, after reiterating the arguments advanced in that case, the court supplemented them with still further reasons why the legislature could not control the University in the manner attempted without conflicting with the grant of supervisory power to the Board of Regents:

We are therefore constrained to state some further reasons to show that the legislature has no control over the University or the board of regents.

1. The board of regents and the legislature derive their power from the same supreme authority, namely, the Constitution. In so far as the powers of each are defined by that instrument, limitations are imposed, and a direct power conferred upon one necessarily excludes its existence in the other, in the absence of language showing the contrary intent. Neither the University nor the board of regents is mentioned in article 4, which defines the powers and duties of the legislature; nor in the article relating to the University and the board of regents is there any language which can be construed into conferring upon or reserving any control over that institution in the legislature. They are separate and distinct constitutional bodies, with the powers of the regents defined. By no rule of construction can it be held that either can encroach upon or exercise the powers conferred upon the other.

2. The board of regents is the only corporation provided for in the Constitution whose powers are defined therein. In every Page  126other corporation provided for in the Constitution it is expressly provided that its powers shall be such as the legislature shall give. In the case of townships (article 11, paragraph 2), and in counties (article 10, paragraph 1), and boards of supervisors (article 10, paragraph 6), it is expressly provided that each corporation shall have such powers and immunities as shall be prescribed by law. The same is true of other officers, aside from the regents, provided for in the Constitution. Justices of the peace (article 6, paragraph 18), the sheriff, the county clerk, the county treasurer, the register of deeds, and prosecuting attorney (article 10, paragraph 3), and township officers (article 11, paragraph 1), can exercise such powers as shall be prescribed by law.

3. Let us apply another test. It is a rule of construction that where a general power over one subject is conferred upon one body in one clause of an instrument, without any restricting or qualifying language, and the like power over another subject is conferred upon another body in another clause of the same instrument, with restricting or qualifying language, the restrictions or qualifications of the second clause cannot be read into the first clause. On the contrary, they must be excluded. By article 13, paragraph 1, the superintendent of public instruction is clothed with "the general supervision of public instruction;" but it is added, "His duties shall be prescribed by law." By article 13, paragraph 9, the board of education is given "the general supervision of the State Normal School;" but it is added, "Their duties shall be prescribed by law."

Thus, in every case except that of the regents, the Constitution carefully and expressly reposes in the legislature the power to legislate and to control and define the duties of those corporations and officers. Can it be held that the framers of the Constitution, and the people, in adopting it, had no purpose in conferring this power, viz., the "general supervision," upon the regents in the one instance, and in restricting it in the others? No other conclusion, in my judgment, is possible than that the intention was to place this institution in the direct and exclusive control of the people themselves, through a constitutional body elected by them. As already shown, the maintenance of this power in the legislature would give to it the sole control and general supervision of the institution, and make the regents merely ministerial officers, with no other power than to carry into effect the general supervision which the legislature may see fit to exercise, or, in other words, to register its will. We do not think the Constitution can bear that construction.

The writ is denied.

The opinion of the court in the Sterling case not only is important from the standpoint of constitutional law, but also is peculiarly instructive, both as an exposition of the history of the constitutional provisions of 1850 and as a careful delineation of the legal reasons supporting a broad interpretation of the constitutional language conferring upon the Board of Regents "general supervision of the University and direction and control of all expenditures from the University interest fund." The opinion was prepared with great skill and care and was concurred in by all of the members of the court. The division in the tribunal had vanished.

The Constitution of 1908. — Fifteen years elapsed after the Sterling case before the Supreme Court was again called upon to interpret the University clauses of the constitution. In the meantime the new Constitution of 1908 had been drafted and adopted. The provisions of this constitution were similar to those of the Constitution of 1850 insofar as the University was concerned. Section 5 of Article XI stipulated that "the Board of Regents shall have the general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from the University funds." (The full text of University provisions in the Constitution of 1908 is given in Appendix D, p. 138.) The word "interest," which had followed the word "University" in the Constitution of 1850, was omitted, and the word "fund" was changed to Page  127"funds," thus placing all University funds — the University interest fund, legislative appropriations, and funds from other sources — under the exclusive control of the Board of Regents.

In 1911, shortly after the adoption of the new constitution, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Board of Regents of the University of Michigan v. The Auditor General (167 Mich. 444). The case arose under Act No. 102 of the Public Acts of 1899, imposing a tax of one-quarter of a mill upon the taxable property of the state and appropriating the proceeds for the use and maintenance of the University. The last clause of the act provided that the "Auditor General shall issue his warrants therefor [i.e., for disbursements under the appropriation] as in the case of special appropriations." Under other statutes the auditor-general was given general authority relating to "special appropriations," empowering him to examine vouchers for expenditures issued by state educational, charitable, reformatory, or penal institutions, and to approve them if they appeared to be for "lawful purposes."

The treasurer of the University made requisition upon the auditor-general for the monthly expenditures under the appropriation act. The latter refused to draw his warrant for the amount of the requisition, for the reason, he alleged, that certain of the vouchers issued by the Regents were in his opinion unlawful. Among other contested items were vouchers of President Angell for traveling expenses incurred in attending alumni meetings and inaugurations of presidents of other universities; also vouchers of various members of the faculty, acting under the authority of the president and of the Board of Regents, for traveling expenses incurred in attending intercollegiate meetings and conferences as delegates or representatives of the University, and in accompanying students on tours of inspection of engineering plants.

It was the opinion of the auditor-general that such expenditures were not for the "use and maintenance of the University," as contemplated by the appropriation act and hence that they were unauthorized and unlawful. He contended that the last clause of the act, above quoted, gave him authority to pass upon the question of lawfulness and to refuse to issue warrants in the event that he should find the expenditures ultra vires. The Regents, on the other hand, contended that the clause should not be regarded as giving the auditor-general power to pass on the lawfulness of requisitions issued by the Board against University appropriations. Reliance was placed upon the constitutional clause giving to the Board of Regents "general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from University funds."

The court emphatically agreed with the Regents and issued the writ of mandamus as requested. Prior decisions were regarded as establishing conclusively the independence of the control of the Board of Regents over all the internal affairs of the University. The court conceded that conditions might be attached by the legislature to appropriations made for the University, and stated that, in the event such conditions were attached, the Regents might accept or reject the funds as they saw fit, but if they accepted them the conditions became binding. It was pointed out, for example, that the mill-tax act involved in the instant case contained specific conditions concerning a number of matters, including the maintenance of certain named departments in the University. (See Appendix E, p. 138, for full text of the act.) With these conditions, Page  128said the court, the Regents must comply, and ruled as follows:

… for a failure to maintain any of said departments the penalty is a reduction of the tax to one-twentieth of a mill, but beyond that the money passes to the Regents and becomes the property of the University to be expended under the exclusive direction of the Regents.

As to the final proviso of the act, which was not in conditional form but which was relied upon by the auditor-general to give him the power to pass judgment upon the lawfulness of University requisitions, the court expressed itself as follows:

We cannot construe the language of the final proviso of the act in question as an intent on the part of the legislature to overthrow the public policy of over half a century, plainly deducible from the general course of legislation and adjudication relating thereto, or as a purpose on their part to refuse aid to the University, unless the regents surrender their constitutional right to control the affairs and finances of the institution, and submit their judgment as to the wisdom and expediency of detailed expenditures for current expenses to that of the auditor general. Neither in construing this proviso can we interpret it as an intent thus by indirection to enlarge the scope of the enacting clause and ingraft upon this appropriation all conditions and restrictions found in the accounting laws of the State, together with any legislation which may be read in connection therewith.

No money is paid out of the State treasury except on the warrant of the auditor general. In this case, as in many others, his duties are purely ministerial. As against the discretion of the regents in expenditure of the University funds he exercises no judicial functions. As to him, in the performance of his official duties, vouchers for expenditures made within the amount of the appropriation, when authorized by the board of regents and properly authenticated by the duly constituted officials, are, within the meaning of the law, "for lawful purposes."

A writ of mandamus will issue as prayed.

One of the important features of this decision is the fact that the court clarifies the law with respect to conditions and conditional appropriations. In an earlier case, i.e., People ex rel. Regents of the University v. Auditor General (17 Mich. 160), as has already been pointed out, the court had assumed that conditions could be attached constitutionally to University appropriations. In the instant case, however, the power of the legislature to attach such conditions is expounded in definite language and is established as one of the accepted principles of interpretation of the constitutional position of the University. At the same time the court makes it equally clear that legislative mandates not expressed as conditions but written directly into appropriation acts will be held unconstitutional if they invade the domain of "general supervision of the University and the direction and control of expenditures from University funds."

An important question is thereby left by the court for future determination: How far may the legislature go in the direction of controlling the internal affairs of the University by couching its mandates in the form of conditions precedent and attaching them to appropriation acts? May it by this simple drafting device in effect nullify the constitutional provisions involved?

This question was finally brought to issue and decided in 1924. A controversy arose concerning, not the University, but Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science), and the court handed down its decision in the case of State Board of Agriculture v. The Auditor General (226 Mich. 417). The legislature had appropriated to the college upward of a half a million dollars per year divided into smaller amounts and designated for a variety of purposes connected with the co-operative agricultural extension work Page  129carried on by the college. The appropriation act concluded with the clause: "each of said amounts shall be used solely for the specific purposes herein stated, subject to the general supervisory control of the State Administrative Board." By the Constitution of 1908 the State Board of Agriculture had been vested with the power of government of the Michigan Agricultural College, and the constitutional convention was so well satisfied with the functioning of the University under the provisions of the Constitution of 1850 that a similar constitutional status was conferred upon the college. In Article XI, section 8, the new constitution stipulated that "the Board [State Board of Agriculture] shall have general supervision of the College and the direction and control of all Agricultural College funds" — a clause practically identical with the corresponding University clause.

The college presented a requisition for a portion of the appropriation, but the auditor-general refused to issue the warrant because the expenditure had not been authorized by the State Administrative Board. The State Board of Agriculture sought a writ of mandamus. In support of the petition it was contended that the attempt in the appropriation act to subject the appropriation for agricultural extension work to the supervisory control of the State Administrative Board was unconstitutional. The court was therefore required to determine whether the above quoted clause constituted a condition, and if so whether or not a condition might constitutionally be attached which in effect would render the administration of the college subject to the general supervisory control of the State Administrative Board.

The court — at that time made up of eight justices, as at present — divided on the subject. Apparently the entire court, after a careful consideration of the case, assumed that the language constituted a condition, but five justices regarded the condition in question as unconstitutional, while three dissented. The writ of mandamus was issued. Mr. Justice McDonald wrote the opinion for the majority of the court. He compared the Michigan Agricultural College to the University and turned to the earlier decisions concerning the status of the University for judicial precedent. He felt that if the condition were to be accepted as constitutional and applied it would completely overturn the well-settled policy of the state relative to the management and control of both the University and the college. He said, in part:

These institutions of learning are very close to the hearts of the people of Michigan. They have made of them the most unique organizations known to the law, in this, that they are constitutional corporations created for the purpose of independently discharging state functions. The people are themselves the incorporators. The boards that control them are responsible only to the people who elect them. They are independent of every other department of the state government. … The progress which our University has made is due in large measure to the fact that the framers of the Constitution of 1850 wisely provided against legislative interference by placing its exclusive management in the hands of a constitutional board elected by the people. The underlying idea was that the best result would be attained by centering the responsibility in one body independent of the Legislature and answerable only to the people.… The policy … has proven so satisfactory to the people that in the constitutional convention of 1908 similar action was taken with reference to the Agricultural College. The State Board of Agriculture was made a constitutional body; it was given the sole management of the affairs of the College and the exclusive control of all of its funds.

"When the State appropriates money to Page  130the University it passes to the regents, and becomes the property of the University, to be expended under the exclusive direction of the regents, and passes beyond the control of the State through its legislative department." Weinberg v. Regents of the University, 97 Mich. 246.

There is, however, a distinction between funds received by way of appropriations and other college funds. The appropriation may be upon condition that the money shall be used for a specific purpose, or upon any other condition that the legislature can lawfully impose. The language used in some previous decisions of this court in reference to this question seems to have been misunderstood. For instance, the following:

"In making appropriations for its support, the legislature may attach any conditions it may deem expedient and wise, and the regents cannot receive the appropriation without complying with the conditions." Weinberg v. Regents of University.

Clearly, in saying that the legislature can attach to an appropriation any condition which it may deem expedient and wise, the court had in mind only such a condition as the legislature had power to make. It did not mean that a condition could be imposed that would be an invasion of the constitutional rights and powers of the governing board of the college. It did not mean to say that, in order to avail itself of the money appropriated, the State board of agriculture must turn over to the legislature management and control of the college, or of any of its activities. This logically leads us to a consideration of the character of the condition attached to the appropriation involved in the instant case. Is it a condition that the legislature had power to make? The appropriation (Act No. 308, Pub. Acts 1923) is subject to two conditions, first, that the money appropriated shall be used for the specific purpose of carrying on co-operative agricultural extension work under the provisions of an act of congress, known as the "Smith-Lever act (38 U.S. Stat. p. 372)," and second, that it "shall be used … subject to the general supervisory control of the State administrative board."

It is not an easy matter to separate a supervisory control of the expenditure of money for extension work from a control of the work itself. Whatever meaning the legislature intended the term "general supervisory control" to import, there is no question as to the interpretation given to it by the State administrative board. It appears in the following resolution adopted on July 10, 1923:

  • "1. That the general supervision of the extension work of the Michigan Agricultural College, together with the authority to hire county agents and all other employees and to prescribe their duties and fix their salaries, be placed by the State board of agriculture by proper resolution, in the hands of the dean of agriculture of the college.
  • "2. That county agents receive their entire salaries and expenses from the Federal government, the State, or the several counties of the State, but from no other source.
  • "3. That the dean of agriculture submit to this board immediately a revised budget of salaries and expenses based under the Smith-Lever act, the United States department of agriculture, and the State and county appropriations, and if these funds are insufficient to carry on the work as outlined, the matter be referred to this board for further attention."

From the above resolutions it will be noted that, exercising its legislative right to "general supervisory control," the State administrative board proposes to take the extension work entirely out of the hands of the board of agriculture and give it over to a dean of the college. In this the State administrative board is assuming to exercise authority vested by the Constitution solely in the board of agriculture. It is not a question as to the wisdom of the method proposed by the administrative board. The business policy and management of all of the affairs of the college belong to the State board of agriculture. The people , speaking through their Constitution, have so decreed. It is also proposed to reject contributions from county farm bureaus, amounting to $191,489, on the theory that it is not only unlawful but a bad business policy to allow the bureaus to pay a part of the salaries of employees engaged in extension work. It may be so, but the Page  131right to accept or reject contributions to carry on any college activity is a matter to be determined exclusively by the State board of agriculture. The legislature cannot interfere nor can it delegate any authority to the administrative board which it, itself, does not possess. My Brother Wiest justifies the delegation of such authority by the legislature on the ground that it is a part of the present-day legislative policy in carrying out a modern system of State finance. The efficiency of the present system may well be conceded, but it cannot be applied to the affairs of the University or the College, because the Constitution forbids it. The legislative enactments quoted by my Brother, as giving the State administrative board the right to intervene in the affairs of State institutions and direct their expenditures, all relate to institutions over which the legislature has control. The Agricultural College and the University of Michigan are constitutionally immune from such legislation. The legislature has no control over them.

The court then addressed itself to determining the effect of holding the condition unconstitutional. Should it result in nullifying the whole act? Would the legislature have intended to make the appropriation, had it realized its inability to impose the condition of supervision by the State Administrative Board? The conclusion was affirmative on this point. It followed, therefore, that the State Board of Agriculture was entitled to the appropriation, subject only to the valid condition that it be used for the purposes specified. In the course of the argument the auditor-general suggested to the court that only by following the fund into the hands of the State Board of Agriculture could the State Administrative Board compel compliance with the valid condition as to the manner of its expenditure. The language used by the court in responding to this argument is of interest. The court said:

As we have pointed out, when the money appropriated passes into the hands of the State board of agriculture, it becomes college property, and is thereafter under the exclusive control of that board, but must be used for the purpose for which it was granted. The proper method of compelling a compliance with the condition that the money shall be expended for the purpose specified will readily suggest itself to the administrative board and its legal advisor.

The opinion in the State Board of Agriculture case is of extreme significance for two reasons. In the first place, it announces and defines a doctrine of "unconstitutional conditions" as applied to conditions precedent attached by the legislature to University and Michigan State College appropriations. In the second place, the court reiterates the language of some of the earlier opinions with reference to the "property" aspect of appropriations made to the University and to the college. Once appropriations are made and the appropriation measures are signed by the governor, the sums of money so appropriated become the "property" of the University or of the college, subject to disposal by their respective governing boards. As heretofore intimated, this property concept has an important bearing upon the validity of certain recent acts of the legislature conferring upon the governor the power to reduce appropriations when he finds it necessary to do so in order to balance the state budget (see p. 125). Section 1 of Act No. 257 of the Public Acts of 1935 provides: "If the total appropriations made by the legislature for any fiscal year exceed the total revenues available for such fiscal year, the governor is hereby authorized to reduce, pro rata, all appropriations made for such fiscal year." Greater authority, along with wider discretionary powers, were later granted, as follows: "The governor is hereby authorized and directed to make such reductions in allotments as he deems necessary to keep the total Page  132expenditures for any fiscal year within the total revenues available for such fiscal year" (P.A., 1937, No. 255).

Certain other decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court involving the Michigan State College are useful in still further elaborating the interpretation to be placed upon the general-supervision clause concerning the University in the constitution. These decisions are Bauer v. State Board of Agriculture (164 Mich. 415 [1911]), State Board of Agriculture v. Auditor General (180 Mich. 349 [1914]), and Alger v. Michigan Agricultural College (181 Mich. 559 [1914]).

The foregoing decisions and opinions of the Michigan Supreme Court, although they may seem very liberal in defining a constitutional position for the University which is independent of changing political pressures, must not be construed as creating anything akin to a state within the state, or as giving to the University (and to Michigan State College) an unwise or ill-conceived freedom from the general government in all matters.

It is easy to overestimate the independence of constitutional institutions, and this is sometimes done by careful authorities. For example, in Township of City of Dubuque v. City of Dubuque, the Supreme Court of Iowa has called a constitutionally established state board of education a "fourth power of government" (7 Iowa 262 [1858]). Again, Alexander Brody (p. 186) has stated: "It might indeed be said that in Michigan there has been added to the American traditional theory of tripartite government, a fourth, namely, the university." Although picturesque perhaps, such statements are far from accurate. Many offices, bureaus, commissions, and institutions are established by our forty-eight state constitutions. Certainly not all are to be glorified as separate branches of government. They are simply constitutional agencies created to perform specified tasks and given certain limited powers, rights, and duties by constitutional provision. Except as to those special powers, rights, and duties they are as fully subject to the conventional three branches of government as are statutory state institutions or agencies:

While it is true that the Regents of the University of Michigan, more commonly called "the Board of Regents," is a separate entity, independent of the state as to the management and control of the University and its property, it is, nevertheless, a department of the state government created by the constitution to perform state functions.

(People ex rel. Board of Regents v. Brooks, 224 Mich. 45 [1923].)

It has never been questioned, for example, that the University is subject to the state's general police powers, and, therefore, to all laws adopted by the legislature designed for the protection and promotion of public health, morals, safety, and general welfare — for example, the Teachers' Oath Law (P.A., 1935, No. 23), or the state law requiring registration and supervision of laboratories (Op. Atty. Gen., 1927-28, p. 467). (There are no Supreme Court decisions dealing specifically with this phase of University relations to the state.) Furthermore, the University is subject to the state's taxing power and its power to levy special assessments, although the legislature has wisely provided specific exemptions relieving the University, along with all other state property, from such burdens, except as to special assessments on property not actually used for governmental purposes (P.A., 1893, No. 206; Auditor General v. Mackinnon Bailer and Machine Co., 199 Mich. 489 [1917]).

In other words, except as to the supervision, management, and control of University property, funds, and functions, the Board of Regents is, quite properly, as much a part of the state Page  133and subject to regulation by the legislature as is any other state institution or board.

Several other states have seen fit to follow the example of Michigan to a greater or less extent and to set up their universities as quasi-independent constitutional agencies. This is the case in California (1879), Minnesota (1858), Idaho (1889), and Oklahoma (1907). In still other states one finds constitutional provisions dealing with the respective state universities in a more limited way. For example, in some state constitutions there are provisions fixing the terms of office of the regents and providing the manner of their selection. In certain other constitutions "government" or "control" of the university is left to the regents, but the legislature is given the power to determine and regulate the "functions" to be performed. The line of demarcation between the power of the regents and that of the legislature often becomes rather shadowy under such distinctions. (For an excellent discussion of the divergent provisions in the several states, see Brody, Chaps. VIII-X.)

Attorney general's opinions concerning the constitutional status of the University. — From time to time, and especially since the decisions in the Weinberg and Sterling cases (see pp. 123 and 125), the attorney general of the state, in his capacity as chief law officer, has been requested to pass upon questions concerning the constitutional status of the University. These questions have ordinarily arisen in connection with statutes adopted by the legislature for the purpose of regulating the internal management of the several state departments, boards, and institutions. The statutes have usually been couched in general form, i.e., without specific mention of the University, and the question has been presented as to whether or not, in view of the constitutional provisions, they could be deemed applicable to the University.

In responding to such inquiries the attorney general has in substantial measure assisted in the interpretation of the constitutional clauses and in the definition of the University's constitutional status. The most important of his opinions have dealt with the following matters:

One of the earliest opinions concerned Act No. 206 of the Public Acts of 1881, as amended, and it was held that the act was not applicable to the University. This act provided:

Before any board of any charitable, penal, educational, or reformatory institution shall determine upon the plan of any building which has been authorized by the legislature to be constructed, such plan shall be submitted to the State Board of Corrections and Charities and the State Board of Health for examination and opinion thereon, and no money shall be paid out of the State Treasury for the execution of any such plan or system until the Board of Corrections and Charities shall file with the Auditor General a written opinion that the proposed plan is of such character that the construction may be fully completed in accordance therewith at an expense within the amount appropriated therefor.

The attorney general was of the opinion that, since the constitution places the "general supervision of the University and the direction and control of expenditures from University funds" in the hands of the Board of Regents, building appropriations might be expended under the exclusive direction of the Board without reference to and approval by any other state agency (Op. Atty. Gen., 1898, p. 88).

To similar effect it has been held that the building of the tuberculosis unit by the University could not be subjected by statute to the supervisory control of the State Tuberculosis Sanitorium Commission Page  134(P.A., 1929, No. 15; Op. Atty. Gen., 1930-32, p. 25).

The attorney general has also ruled that the provisions of the statutes purporting to fix the fees to be charged by the University are invalid, and that the Board of Regents may fix such fees as it deems wise (Op. Atty. Gen., 1901, p. 87; C.L., 1929, sec. 7775). A similar opinion has been rendered concerning the legislative power to fix University entrance requirements (Op. Atty. Gen., 1911, p. 215). In California, where the board of regents is also a quasi-independent constitutional corporation, similar questions have arisen in the cases of Williams v. Wheeler (23 Calif. App. 619 [1913]) and Wallace v. Regents of the University (75 Calif. App. 274 [1926]), and the courts have held that the legislature may not interfere in the matter of admission requirements.

The constitutional independence of the University has also resulted in similar opinions of the attorneys general on a wide variety of subjects of less substantial importance. A statute requiring "each department, institution, board, commission, and office in the state government" to submit its report to the Board of State Auditors for revision, has been held to have no application to the University (P.A., 1919, No. 120; Op. Atty. Gen., 1920, p. 106). A general act requiring bonds from contractors for faithful performance of the contract and protection of material men is inapplicable (P.A., 1905, No. 187; Op. Atty. Gen., 1921-22, p. 289). A general contributory insurance-fund act purporting to cover all state property is not applicable (P.A., 1913, No. 388; Op. Atty. Gen., 1925-26, p. 13). An act providing for registration with the Michigan State Board of Health of all laboratories where live pathogenic germs are handled does not apply to University laboratories so long as the germs are used only for the educational and hospital needs of the University and are not sold commercially (P.A., 1927, No. 308; Op. Atty. Gen., 1927-28, p. 467). The Veterans' Preference Act is not applicable (P.A., 1931, No. 67; Op. Atty. Gen., 1930-32, p. 475). An act requiring all past-due accounts of state departments or institutions to be forwarded to the collection division of the Department of the Attorney General for handling by that department does not include accounts owing to the University (P.A., 1927, No. 201; Op. Atty. Gen., 1927). A general act requiring annual inventories of state-owned property has no application to the University (C.L., 1915, sec. 1938; Op. Atty. Gen., 1922). Finally, in the most recent opinion of importance, it has been held that the State Civil Service Act, though it purports to include University employees, cannot constitutionally be given application (P.A., 1937, No. 346; Op. Atty. Gen., 1937, p. 129).

All of these and other similar opinions of the attorney general have served to give detail and definition to the broad language: "The Board of Regents shall have general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from the University funds." They fill in the gaps left by the less frequently occurring Supreme Court decisions concerning the constitutional status of the University.

Legislative acceptance of the constitutional position of the University. — The vitality of the constitutional principles concerning the University and the recognition of the basic good sense underlying them have manifested themselves again and again in the state legislature by the specific exclusion of the University from the operation of general statutes. For example, the State Budget Act applies to "all departments, institutions, boards, commissions, and offices of the state government except Page  135the university of Michigan and the Michigan state college of agriculture and applied science" (P.A., 1919, No. 98, as amended by P.A., 1933, No. 187). Again, by the terms of the State Purchasing Act:

All supplies, merchandise, and articles of every description and character, including building materials, necessary for the maintenance, extension or operation of all state penal, reformatory, charitable, and educational institutions, except the University of Michigan and the Michigan Agricultural College, shall hereafter be acquired and purchased [through the State Purchasing Agent], … Provided further that if at any time the University of Michigan or the Michigan State College of Agriculture should desire to join with the state institutions in making purchases under the provisions of the act [it or they may do so].

(P.A., 1919, No. 282.)

A further illustration of legislation recognizing the University's constitutional status is found in the State Trunk-Line Highway Act, which authorizes the state highway commissioner to lay out and establish trunk-line highways upon or through state parks or other state property, provided "that no such trunk line highway … shall be laid out … on any property owned by the Michigan State Board of Agriculture or the Regents of the University of Michigan" unless approved by two-thirds or more of the members of the governing board concerned (P.A., 1929, No. 77).

In a word, the quasi-independent constitutional status of the University has become generally accepted, not only by the courts and law officers of the state but also by the legislature as well, as a vital feature of the program of higher education in Michigan. It is an invaluable part of the fundamental law and of the tradition of the state.

Conclusions. — One should never be dogmatic regarding the principles of constitutional law. Especially is this true at the present time, when the bulk of our basic legal philosophy is in a state of flux, and as a consequence thereof many formerly accepted constitutional principles are being modified, amended, or rejected. It can safely be said, however, that, regardless of change in details, the spirit and main objectives of our constitutional structure are being preserved today as conscientiously as they have been in the past. With this thought in mind it is not especially difficult for one to draw conclusions concerning the present constitutional status of the University of Michigan.

Such conclusions should be predicated not only upon the literal meaning of the language of the constitutional provisions concerning the University, but also upon the background of history, beginning with the Ordinance of 1785, the motives inducing the people of the state to write the provisions into the fundamental law eighty-eight years ago, and their action in preserving them in full vitality ever since. Due account must also be taken of the considered interpretations of the constitutional language from time to time by the Supreme Court and the attorney general. In the light of these considerations the following observations are warranted concerning the present constitutional status of the University.

  • 1. To the end that higher education may be maintained and encouraged in Michigan, the state legislature is under at least a moral, although perhaps not a specific legal, obligation to provide for the financial support of the University to such extent as may be consistent with the other needs and revenues of the state.
  • 2. To the end that the University may develop according to a continuing policy free from the changing influences of politics, the "general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from University Page  136funds" is lodged in the Board of Regents elected directly by the people of the state for long and staggered terms, and the words "general supervision" are to be construed liberally to include plenary power over all of the internal management and affairs of the University.
  • 3. The University is subject to general legislation of the state having to do with the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare. The constitutional power of the legislature over these fundamental matters must of necessity be paramount.
  • 4. Legislative appropriations become the "property" of the University as soon as the appropriation acts become effective. It is perhaps questionable just what attributes of property in the strict legal sense should be deemed to attach to such appropriations, but it is clear that once an appropriation is made it cannot thereafter be subjected to any change by state administrative officers. It is possible that even the state legislature itself cannot constitutionally subject the appropriation to change except, of course, by repeal of the appropriation act to take effect prospectively at the beginning of the succeeding fiscal year.
  • 5. The legislature may attach conditions to appropriations for the support of the University, and, if the conditions are constitutional, they must be complied with by the University before the funds may be received.
  • 6. However, conditions attached to appropriation acts will be deemed unconstitutional and invalid if, by their effect, they take from the Board of Regents any substantial part of the Board's discretionary power over the operation or educational policies of the University.

Under the favorable influence of the foregoing constitutional principles the University of Michigan has attained a commanding position among the state universities of the country. In no small measure may the present position of the institution be attributed to the wisdom and foresight of those who conceived the general policies of the ordinances of 1785 and 1787 and of those who translated those policies into the specific constitutional provisions of 1850 and 1908.


Mill-tax acts. — The various mill-tax acts of the state of Michigan are as follows:

  • Laws, 1867, No. 59, p. 86: 1/20 of a mill.
  • Laws, 1869, No. 14, p. 19: $15,000.
  • Laws, 1873, No. 32, p. 32: 1/20 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1893, No. 19, p. 19: 1/6 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1893, No. 53, p. 56: 1/6 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1899, No. 102, p. 146: 1/4 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1907, No. 303, p. 398: 3/8 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1921, No. 247, p. 461: 6/10 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1923, No. 252, p. 400: 6/10 of a mill; not to exceed $3,000,000.
  • P.A., 1925, No. 314, p. 476: 6/10 of a mill; total not to exceed $3,700,000.
  • P.A., 1927, No. 404, p. 953: 6/10 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1931, No. 319, p. 545: 6/10 of a mill; total not to exceed $4,928,852.55.
  • P.A., 1935, No. 11, p. 23: repeal of act of 1873.
  • P.A., 1935, No. 112, p. 180: appropriation of a sum equal to 73/100 of a mill.
  • P.A., 1937, No. 147, p. 230: appropriation of a sum equal to 83/100 of a mill but not to exceed $4,673,253.58.

Page  137

School and University provisions in the Constitution of 1835. — The full text of sections 2 and 5 of Article X of the Constitution of 1835 is as follows:

Perpetual fund for support of schools. 2. The legislature shall encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientifical and agricultural improvement. The proceeds of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to this state, for the support of schools, which shall hereafter be sold or disposed of, shall be and remain a perpetual fund; the interest of which, together with the rents of all such unsold lands, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of schools throughout the state.…

University fund. 5. The legislature shall take measures for the protection, improvement or other disposition of such lands as have been or may hereafter be reserved or granted by the United States to this state for the support of a university; and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such lands, or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid, shall be and remain a permanent fund for the support of said university, with such branches as the public convenience may hereafter demand for the promotion of literature, the arts and sciences, and as may be authorized by the terms of such grant; and it shall be the duty of the legislature, as soon as may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and permanent security of the funds of said university.


University provisions in the Constitution of 1850. — As amended in 1862, the full text of the provisions of the Constitution of 1850 relating to the University is as follows:

School fund. Sec. 2. The proceeds from the sales of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to the state for educational purposes, and the proceeds of all lands or other property given by individuals or appropriated by the state for like purposes, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest and income of which, together with the rents of all such lands as may remain unsold, shall be inviolably appropriated and annually applied to the specific objects of the original gift, grant, or appropriation.…

Regents of university; election. Sec. 6. There shall be elected in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-three, at the time of the election of a justice of the supreme court, eight regents of the university, two of whom shall hold their office for two years, two for four years, two for six years, and two for eight years. They shall enter upon the duties of their office on the first of January next succeeding their election. At every regular election of a justice of the supreme court thereafter there shall be elected two regents whose term of office shall be eight years. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of regent, it shall be filled by appointment of the governor. The regents thus elected shall constitute the board of regents of the University of Michigan.

Same; body corporate. Sec. 7. The regents of the university and their successors in office shall continue to constitute the body corporate, known by the name and title of "The Regents of the University of Michigan."

President of university; supervision by regents. Sec. 8. The regents of the university shall, at their first annual meeting, or as soon thereafter as may be, elect a president of the university, who shall be ex officio a member of their board, with the privilege of speaking but not of voting. He shall preside at the meetings of the regents and be the principal executive officer of the university. The board of regents shall have the general supervision of the university, and the direction and control of all expenditures from the university interest fund.…

Agricultural school; appropriation; transfer to university. Sec. 11. The legislature shall encourage the promotion of intellectual, scientific and agricultural improvement; and shall, as soon as practicable, provide for the establishment of an agricultural school. The legislature may appropriate the twenty-two sections of salt spring lands now unappropriated, or the money arising from the sale of the same, where such lands have been already sold, and any land which may hereafter be granted or appropriated for such purpose for the support and maintenance of such school, and may make the same a branch of the university, for instruction in agriculture and the natural sciences connected therewith, and place the same under the supervision of the regents of the university.

Page  138

University provisions in the Constitution of 1908. — The full text of the provisions of the Constitution of 1908 which relate to the University is as follows:

Article XI

Encouragement of education. Section 1. Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

Regents of university; election, term, vacancy. Sec. 3. There shall be a board of regents of the university, consisting of eight members, who shall hold the office for eight years. There shall be elected at each regular biennial spring election two members of such board. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of the regent it shall be filled by appointment of the governor.

Same; name. Sec. 4. The regents of the university and their successors in office shall continue to constitute the body corporate known as "The Regents of the University of Michigan."

University; president; supervision. Sec. 5. The regents of the university shall, as often as necessary, elect a president of the university. The president of the university and the superintendent of public instruction shall be ex officio members of the board of regents, with the privilege of speaking but not of voting. The president shall preside at the meetings of the board and be the principal executive officer of the university. The board of regents shall have the general supervision of the university and the direction and control of all expenditures from the university funds.

Educational institutions; maintenance. Sec. 10. The legislature shall maintain the university, the college of mines, the state agricultural college, the state normal college and such state normal schools and other educational institutions as may be established by law.

Proceeds of school land. Sec. 11. The proceeds from the sales of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to the state for educational purposes and the proceeds of all lands or other property given by individuals or appropriated by the state for like purposes shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest and income of which, together with the rents of all such lands as may remain unsold, shall be inviolably appropriated and annually applied to the specific objects of the original gift, grant or appropriation.

Article XIII

Regents of university; power of eminent domain. Sec. 4. The regents of the university of Michigan shall have power to take private property for the use of the university in the manner prescribed by law.


Mill-tax Act of 1899. — Act No. 102 of the Public Acts of 1899 involved in this case contained but one section, reading as follows:

Section 1. There shall be assessed upon the taxable property of the State as fixed by the State board of equalization, in the year 1899 and in each year thereafter, for the use and maintenance of the University of Michigan, the sum of one-fourth of a mill on each dollar of said taxable property to be assessed and paid into the State treasury of the State in like manner as other State taxes are by law levied, assessed and paid; which tax, when collected, shall be paid by the State treasurer to the board of regents of the University in like manner as the interest on the university fund is paid to the treasurer of said board; and the regents of the University shall make an annual report to the governor of the State of all the receipts and expenditures of the University: Provided, that the board of regents shall not authorize the building or the commencement of any additional building or buildings or other extraordinary repairs until the accumulation of savings from this fund shall be sufficient to complete such building or other extraordinary expense. Also provided, that the board of regents of the University shall maintain at all times a sufficient corps of instructors in all the departments of said University as at present constituted, shall afford proper means and facilities for instruction and graduation in each department of said University, and shall make a fair and equitable division of the funds provided for the support of the University in accord with the wants and needs of said departments as they shall become apparent; said departments being known as the departments of literature, science and art, department of medicine and surgery, department of law, Page  139school of pharmacy, homeopathic medical college and the department of dental surgery. Should the board of regents fail to maintain any of said departments herein provided, then at such time shall only one-twentieth of a mill be so assessed: Provided, further, that the State treasurer be and is hereby authorized and directed to pay to the regents of the University, in the year 1899 and each year thereafter, in such manner as is now provided by law, upon the warrant of the auditor general, the amount of the mill tax provided for by this act; and that the State treasury be reimbursed out of the taxes annually received from said mill tax when collected; and said auditor general shall issue his warrants therefor as in the case of special appropriations.


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Michigan. Compiled Laws of the State of …, 1929. (C.L., 1929.)
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Michigan. House Documents, 1838-67. (H. Doc.)
Michigan. Laws [of the Session of …], 1837-73. (Laws.)
Michigan. Laws of the Territory of… Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1871-84. 4 vols. (Terr. Laws.)
Michigan. "Opinions of the Attorney General," 1836-1940. Usually in the Report of the Attorney General (beginning 1836) but published separately in certain years. (Op. Atty. Gen.)
Michigan. Public Acts [of the Session of…], 1874-1940. (P.A.)
"An Ordinance for Ascertaining the Mode of Disposing of Lands in the Western Country" (May 20, 1785). In: Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Govt., 1933. XXVIII: 375-81.
"An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio" (July 13, 1787). In: Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Govt., 1936. XXXII: 334-43. (Northwest Ordinance.)
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1852-1940.
Price, Richard R."The Financial Support of the University of Michigan: Its Origin and Development."Harvard Bull. Ed., No. 8 (1923): 1-58.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Report of the Proceedings and Debates in the Convention to Revise the Constitution of the State of Michigan, 1850. Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1850. (Debates.)
United States, Statutes at Large, 1789-1940. (U. S. Stat. L.)
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.
Page  140


Organization and Powers of the Governing Board of the University

THE term "regents" which has become a characteristic title in governing bodies of American state universities, apparently originated in the old University of Paris, where it signified certain masters of arts qualified to teach. Later, the English universities applied the term to those masters who possessed the functions of both teaching and governing the university. In the New World the University of the State of New York, upon its organization in 1787, utilized the title, but changed the function and made the regents a governing, and not a teaching, body.

When the question of the organization of an educational program in the state of Michigan was under consideration in the years after 1817, the term "regent," following the New York precedent, was employed in several tentative plans for changes in the original act of 1817. Although the precise date is not given in any of these drafts, which have been published by the University, the year is recorded in at least one of them, in Judge A. B. Woodward's handwriting, as 1818 (Early Records, pp. 182-97).

Thus, when the University was finally organized under the Constitution of 1835, the governing body, following these precedents, was denominated as the Board of Regents, and the University of Michigan became the first of the state universities to employ the term. (The University of the State of New York existed only as a centralized governing system for the educational institutions of the state.)

The powers of the Board of Regents. — In exploring the history and present status of the powers of the Board of Regents of the University, one seeks his information in the several enabling acts establishing and providing for the University and in the constitutional provisions giving the University a quasi-independent status as a constitutional corporation.

Throughout the life of the institution there have been five major statutes and two constitutional provisions defining, prescribing, and affecting the powers of the governing board. The first of the statutory enactments became a law on August 26, 1817, and is to be found in volume II of the Laws of the Territory of Michigan (p. 104). The second act was dated April 30, 1821 (I Terr. Laws, 1821, p. 879), and the third was enacted March 18, 1837 (Laws, 1837, p. 102). The fourth was approved May 18, 1846, and may be found in the Revised Statutes of the State of Michigan …, 1846 (p. 216). The fifth (Laws, 1851, p. 205), was an act approved April 8, 1851. In addition to the foregoing, there are several minor statutes of small consequence dealing with matters of detail.

The two constitutional provisions are found respectively in the Constitution of 1850, Article XIII, sections 6, 7, and 8, and in the Constitution of 1908, Article XI, section 5. Since the constitutional provisions are necessarily brief in text and general in nature, a proper understanding of their real meaning can be attained only by an examination of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the state and of the opinions of the several attorneys general construing and applying the general language of the fundamental Page  141law. As will be observed later, the constitutional provisions, as interpreted, have to all intents and purposes superseded the earlier statutory enactments, and have set up the Board of Regents as a virtually independent constitutional corporation with plenary governing powers over the University. The powers derived by the Board of Regents from the several above-mentioned sources will be discussed seriatim in the following pages.

Act of 1817. — The initial act creating the University and establishing the powers of its governing board was adopted on August 26, 1817. Being a territorial law, it was adopted, approved, and signed by the territorial legislative agency, i.e., the acting governor (the governor having been absent from the Territory), the presiding judge of the Supreme Court of the Territory, and one other Supreme Court justice. The act established an institution known as "the Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania," the legal predecessor of the present University of Michigan. The Catholepistemiad was unusual, not to say formidable, in structure. It was composed of thirteen didaxiim, or professorships. The "didactors," or professors, were appointed by the governor. The law provided that the didactor of "Universal Science" should be president of the institution, and granted to the president and the other didactors, or a majority of them assembled, certain specified powers:

[The president and didactors shall have power] to regulate all the concerns of the institution, to enact laws for that purpose, to sue, to be sued, to acquire, to hold and to alien property, real, mixed, and personal, to make, to use, and to alter a seal, to establish colleges, academies, schools, libraries, musaeums, athenoeums, botanic gardens, laboratories, and other useful literary and scientific institutions consonant to the laws of the United States of America and of Michigan, and to appoint officers, instructors and instructri [sic] in, among, and throughout the various counties, cities, towns, townships, and other geographical divisions of Michigan.

Note that this was no mere local institution; it was state-wide in its scope.

The matter of fiscal support was not overlooked. Existing taxes were increased 15 per cent, and from all "present and future public taxes" 15 per cent was appropriated for the University. An additional and novel means of support was also afforded: the University was authorized to "prepare and draw four successive lotteries," deducting from the prizes 15 per cent for the benefit of the institution. Lest extravagance ensue, a ceiling was placed on professorial salaries. The honorarium (apparently the amount paid by each student) for a course of lectures could not exceed $15; for classical instruction it could not exceed $10 a quarter; and for ordinary instruction $6 a quarter was the limit. The "forgotten man" was remembered, for, "if the judges of any county court should certify that the parent or guardian of any person had not adequate means to defray the expense of suitable instruction and that the same ought to be a public charge," the honorarium was to be paid from the treasury of the Territory of Michigan.

Under the provisions of this law the University was launched on August 26, 1817. Acting Governor Woodbridge appointed the Reverend John Monteith and Father Gabriel Richard to fill the professorships, and they were authorized to put into execution the grand scheme contemplated by the legislation. They made a modest beginning by establishing schools and courses of instruction in Detroit, Monroe, and Mackinac. The Catholepistemiad was short-lived, however, for the governor and judges of the Territory adopted a new act in 1821, Page  142changing materially the structure and existing powers of Michigan's institution of higher learning.

Act of 1821. — This second enabling act, dated April 30, 1821, was apparently based upon a somewhat different theory of higher education. The University, instead of being state-wide in its geographical scope, seemingly was limited to the city of Detroit. The professors were no longer to constitute the governing board, for the institution was placed under the authority and direction of a board of twenty-one trustees, including among their number as an ex officio member the governor of the Territory. It was provided that the trustees should hold office at the pleasure of the legislature and that all vacancies on the board should be filled from time to time by the legislature. The trustees and their successors were declared to be "a body politic and corporate with perpetual succession in deed and in law, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, by the name, style, and title of 'The Trustees of the University of Michigan.'" As a corporate entity the trustees were given the power "of suing and being sued, holding property, real and personal and mixed, of buying and selling, and otherwise lawfully disposing of property." Eleven of the trustees constituted a quorum "for the purpose of disposing of property and of fixing compensations." Seven constituted a quorum for all other purposes.

The act provided in much greater detail than did the act of 1817 with respect to the powers of the Board of Trustees. The trustees were permitted to apply any part of University funds "to the promotion of literature and the advancement of useful knowledge within this territory." It was provided:

The said trustees may, from time to time, establish such colleges, academies and schools depending upon the said University, as they may think proper, and as the funds of the corporation will permit; and it shall be the duty of the said trustees to visit and inspect such colleges, academies and schools, to examine into the state and system of education and discipline therein, and to make a yearly report thereof to the legislature; to make such by-laws and ordinances, not inconsistent with the laws of the United States or of this territory, as they may judge most expedient for the government of such schools, academies and colleges, or for the accomplishment of the trust hereby reposed in such trustees; to appoint a president, professors, instructors and other officers, to fix their compensation, and to remove them when such trustees think proper, and to confer such degrees as are usually conferred by universities established for the education of youth.

For fiscal support, certain public lands were given to the Board of Trustees for the purposes of the institution. Section 7 of the act provided:

The said corporation shall have the control and management of the township of land granted by the act of Congress, passed March the twenty-sixth, one thousand eight hundred and four, and entitled "An act making provision for the disposal of public lands in the Indiana territory, and for other purposes," for the use of a seminary of learning: Provided, That the said corporation shall have no authority to sell the said land, nor to lease the same, for a longer time than seven years, nor then with a covenant for renewal.

In addition to the foregoing, section 8 provided:

… The three sections of land, granted to the College of Detroit by the treaty of Fort Meigs, concluded September the twenty-ninth, one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, shall be vested in the said trustees, agreeably to the terms of the grant, and all the property, real, personal and mixed, and all rights, credits and debts, granted, given, conveyed, promised, or due to the corporation established by the act, entitled "An act to establish a Catholepistemiad or Page  143University of Michigania," shall be vested, and are hereby vested, in the corporation established by this act; subject, nevertheless, to the uses, trusts and purposes for which the same property was granted, given, conveyed or promised: Provided, nevertheless, That the corporation established by this act shall be liable to the payment of all the debts which are due, and to the discharge of all the duties incurred by the corporation hereby dissolved.

This provision made the new "University" the legal successor of the former "Catholepistemiad."

Thus, the act of 1821 reduced the geographical area of operations of the University and changed the character of its governing board from one made up of professors of the institution to one made up of citizens appointed by the governor from without the University staff. Furthermore, a radical change was made in regard to fiscal support. The original act had provided that all public taxes in the Territory should be increased by 15 per cent, the proceeds of the increase being appropriated for the support of the University. This provision was eliminated, and the University was required to rely for support upon student fees and the proceeds of the sales of public lands.

The institution set up by the act of 1821 made little progress. The trustees confined their efforts to the maintenance, for a time, of the primary schools and the classical academy which had been previously set up in Detroit, but by 1827 these enterprises had been abandoned, and the only function of the trustees appears to have been to grant the use of the University building to approved teachers for carrying on private instruction. This state of affairs continued until Michigan became a state in 1837.

Act of 1837. — When the constitution of the new state of Michigan was formulated in 1835, higher education received specific recognition. Section 5 of Article X provided definitely:

[The legislature shall take measures] for the protection and improvement or other disposition of such lands as have been or may hereafter be reserved or granted by the United States to this state for the support of a university; and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such lands or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid shall be and remain a permanent fund for the support of said university.

The constructive governmental activities of the period of state-building brought into focus the shortcomings of the earlier institutions, and as a result John D. Pierce, Superintendent of Public Instruction, was requested to draw up a plan for a university. His suggestions were incorporated in a new University organic act, adopted on March 18, 1837.

This act, following the act of 1821, provided that the institution should be called "the University of Michigan." It stated that the object of the University should be to furnish the residents of the state with "the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and the arts." The government of the University was vested in a Board of Regents, to consist of twelve members and a chancellor, who was ex officio president of the Board. The Board was nominated by the governor and was appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The governor, the lieutenant governor, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the chancellor of the state were all ex officio members. The Regents were said to constitute a body corporate with the name and title of "The Regents of the University of Michigan," with the right as such of suing and being sued.

It was provided:

The Regents shall have the power, and it shall be their duty, to enact laws for the government of the university; to appoint the Page  144prescribed number of professors, and the requisite number of tutors; also to determine the amount of their respective salaries; and also to appoint a steward and fix the amount of his salary.

(Origin and Government, p. 9.)

The first Board of Regents of the University, in accordance with this action, was constituted as follows: ex officio members, Governor Stevens T. Mason, Lieutenant Governor Edward Mundy, Chancellor Elon Farnsworth, and Chief Justice William A. Fletcher, together with Judge George Morell and Judge Epaphroditus Ransom. The twelve Regents appointed by the governor were as follows: John Norvell, Ross Wilkins, John J. Adam, whose terms were fixed at the first meeting of the Regents for one year; Lucius Lyon, Isaac E. Crary, and John F. Porter (to serve for two years); Samuel Denton, M.D., Gideon O. Whittemore, and Michael Hoffman (to serve for three years); and Zina Pitcher, M.D., Henry R. Schoolcraft, and Robert McClelland (to serve for four years). Charles W. Whipple was chosen as secretary of the Board and C. C. Trowbridge as treasurer.

Twelve members of this Board met in Ann Arbor for the first meeting of the Board of Regents on June 5, 1837. The members of the Supreme Court and four of the regularly appointed Regents were not present. Within a year Regent McClelland was replaced by Seba Murphy, John F. Porter by Jonathan Kearsley, and Michael Hoffman by G. C. Leech.

For the first time the internal structure of the University appeared in the statutes. There were to be three departments — the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Department of Law, and the Department of Medicine. The act went to considerable lengths to prescribe the professorships to be established in each of the several departments, and it was stipulated that "no new professorships shall be established without the consent of the legislature." The immediate government of the several departments was to be entrusted to the respective faculties, but certain academic matters were put into the hands of the Regents:

[The Board of Regents shall have power] to regulate the course of instruction and to prescribe, under the advice of the professorships, the books and authorities to be used in the several departments, and also to confer such degrees and to grant such diplomas as are usually conferred and granted in other universities.

The Regents were also given the power to remove any professor or tutor or other officer when in its judgment the interests of the University required it. Fees of admission to the University were limited to $10, but to all residents of the state the University should be open without "charge of tuition."

In this act, for the first time, a direct appropriation of state funds was contemplated for the support of the University. In section 16, it was provided that the Regents should, "as soon as the state shall provide funds for that purpose," proceed to the erection of the necessary buildings for the University. The Regents were also given the power, and it was made their duty, "faithfully to expend all moneys which may be from time to time appropriated for books and apparatus." Student fees and proceeds from University lands were also available as means of support.

State-wide higher education was again authorized by the act of 1837. By section 18, it was made the duty of the Board of Regents, together with the superintendent of public instruction, "to establish such branches of the University in different parts of the state as shall be from time to time authorized by the legislature; also to establish all needful rules and regulations for the government of such branches."

Page  145Coeducation was forecast. It was provided that in every "branch" of the University, though seemingly not at the University itself, "there shall be established an institution for the education of females in the higher branches of knowledge whenever a suitable building shall be prepared." Apparently the women were destined to stay close to home where the branches were to be situated, thus leaving the principal institution to the men students (see Part I: Branches).

It was under this enabling act that the University was established at Ann Arbor in 1837. Under its provisions the beginnings of the present vast institution were created. Despite the breadth of view and progressive character of this legislation, weaknesses in the plan soon became apparent. The powers of the Board of Regents were not sufficiently defined and the Board was not given immediate control over the University funds arising from the sale of the federal lands. In the first meeting a committee appointed to consider the legislative acts providing for the organization of the University and the location of the University reported that while they were of the opinion that the legislature intended to vest in the Regents the appointment of the chancellor of the University, "an opinion predicated as well upon the propriety of that mode of appointment, as upon a knowledge of the opinions of many of the individual members of the Legislature, and the impression of the Superintendent of Public Instruction," nevertheless they felt that the "ambiguity of the Act" rendered the exercise of this power "of doubtful propriety" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 2). Therefore they suggested that the governor be requested to lay the matter before the legislature, and submitted a resolution, asking for an amendment to the University law empowering the Regents to prescribe the duties of the chancellor, to create professorships as they might deem proper, and to establish branches without the special sanction of the legislature. A further resolution suggested an amendment authorizing the governor of the state to serve as president of the Board of Regents.

At this time the sale of the federal lands and the control of the University funds arising from these lands, as well as the distribution of these funds between the University and the branches, were in the hands of John D. Pierce, Superintendent of Public Instruction, who looked at the educational problems of the state with realistic eyes and insisted upon immediate development of the branches of the University.

Act of 1846. — The Regents objected to this measure of control on the part of the legislature and superintendent of public instruction. Accordingly, several bills were submitted to the legislature asking for relief from this limitation of their powers.

In 1846 the statutes of the state were revised, and, although most of the provisions of the act of 1837 were re-enacted, the powers of the Board of Regents were increased in several important respects. It was specifically provided for the first time, by section 8 of the revised act, that the Board of Regents should have power to elect a chancellor of the University. The act of 1837 had provided for the appointment of the chancellor by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the state Senate. The provisions of the earlier act concerning the three departments of the University were repeated without change, as were the provisions prescribing the professorships to be created, the requirement that no new professorships should be created without the consent of the legislature, and the stipulation as to fees and the amounts thereof. Another new feature is found in one of the fiscal aspects of the act. Section 18 provided that the Board Page  146of Regents should have authority to expend "so much of the interest arising from the University fund as may be necessary for the purpose of philosophical and other apparatus, a library, and cabinet of natural history." This section constitutes a legislative recognition of the so-called "University interest fund," a fund consisting of interest on the proceeds of sale of lands granted to the University by the United States. The University receives to this day the income from the amount accrued from the sale of these lands.

The section in the earlier act concerning the education of women in the higher branches of learning was continued, and in addition it was provided that there should be established in each branch of the University a department "especially appropriated to the education of teachers for primary schools." Thus the modern school of education was foreshadowed.

In general it may be said that the revision of 1846 added but little to the previous powers of the Board and contributed little to the development of the University. It may well be, however, that the restrictions, most of which remained in effect until the Constitution of 1850 was adopted, were on the whole wise. The Regents were inexperienced in educational matters, and they had few precedents for the task before them. This uncertainty is shown in the reports of their first meetings. Nevertheless, in the main, the attitude of the legislature was interested and co-operative. In authorizing the state to accept its own depreciated scrip in payment of the University debt in 1844 the legislature gave much-appreciated relief in a financial crisis which almost threatened the closing of the institution.

The Constitution of 1850 and the act of 1851. — The next and last general statutory revision of the laws relating to the University was made in 1851 following the adoption of the Constitution of 1850, and went into effect on April 8, 1851.

The difficulties of the University during all of this early period and the gradual recognition of the special educational problems which faced the Regents, as well as the superintendent of public instruction and the legislature, had inspired certain changes in the constitution which gave the Regents new powers and clarified their relationship to the state administrative system. The new constitution provided that the Regents were to be elected by state judicial districts rather than appointed by the governor and legislature and made them not only a body corporate but also a constitutional part of the state government, coordinate with the legislative, executive, and judiciary divisions. It was provided by the new constitution that "the Board of Regents shall have the general supervision of the University and the direction and control of all expenditures from the University interest fund" (Art. XIII, sec. 8), and that the superintendent of public instruction was also to be elected by the people rather than appointed by the governor.

These changes had the effect of emancipating the University from legislative control, although it was not for many years that the full import of this independent status of the Regents was finally recognized by the legislature. Furthermore, a series of decisions by the state Supreme Court was required to free the University completely from control by the legislature. These measures also relieved the University from control by the state superintendent of public instruction, except for his prerogative of appointment of a board of visitors. With slight modifications, these provisions were repeated in the Constitution of 1908.

As was the case with the revision of 1846, the important features of the prior Page  147legislation were continued in the statutory act of 1851, and the new features were few and of comparatively minor importance. Section 5 provided for the first time for the election of a president of the University instead of a chancellor, who had hitherto been legally designated the principal administrative officer. For the first time, also, the Board of Regents was given discretionary power with respect to the establishment of new departments, section 8 providing, in addition to the three departments previously authorized, that "such other departments may be added as the Regents shall deem necessary and the state of the University fund shall allow." Section 9 contained a new and unusual provision:

The Regents shall provide for the arrangement and selection of a course or courses of study in the University for such students as may not desire to pursue the usual collegiate course in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts embracing the ancient languages, and to provide for the admission of such students without previous examination as to their attainment in said languages and for granting such certificates at the expiration of such course or term of such students as may be appropriate to their respective attainments.

The precise purpose of this curious section does not appear in the written records of the legislature, but doubtless it was designed to answer some special case or cases which had come to the attention and favor of certain members of the legislature. Possibly it had some reference to the admission of special students, or even to the inauguration of special courses in science. It was also provided that the Regents should make provision for keeping a set of meteorological tables at the University, in accordance with forms adopted and furnished by the Smithsonian Institution.

Section 11 of the act contained an important change in the government of the several departments of the University. Whereas previously the government of these departments had been entrusted to their respective faculties, it was, by the act of 1851, entrusted "to the president and the respective faculties." The provisions as to fees, including the prohibiting of tuition charges to residents of the state, were continued. The possibilities of use of the University interest fund were broadened. Specific provision was made for the erection of buildings from this fund, but it was stipulated that no such building should be erected until provision was made for the payment of existing indebtedness of the University, nor "until one branch of the University was established in each judicial circuit of the state." Obviously, the limitations were such that not many buildings could be built from the fund, and none ever were built.

Another important change was made by section 18 of the new act. Whereas in the previous legislation the Board of Regents was simply authorized to establish branches "in different parts of the state," leaving the matter subject to the discretion of the Board, the act of 1851 provided:

… As soon as the income of the University interest fund will admit, it shall be the duty of the Board of Regents to organize and establish branches of the University, one at least in each judicial circuit or district of the state.

In other words, the legislature was becoming insistent about the matter of spreading the benefits of higher education throughout the state. In other respects the powers of the Board under the act of 1851 were much the same as those contained in previous legislation.

A further change in the composition of the Board was effected in 1863, when, pursuant to an amendment ratified in 1862, a law was passed providing for the election of the Regents at large rather Page  148than by judicial districts, and also for a rotation of the Board. Accordingly, the election of two Regents has been held every second year since then, in place of the election of an entire Board at once, as formerly.

Constitutional provisions and the powers of the Board of Regents since 1850. — The complete powers of the Board of Regents over the conduct of the University and in the administration of its funds has remained to the present day. In the Constitution of 1850 the appointment of a president by the Regents was made mandatory, resulting in the selection of President Henry P. Tappan. He took office in 1852, and from that time the administration of the University assumed a more assured and settled form.

The Regents have always held the power of appointment of members of the faculty and administrative officers and the granting of degrees, but in practice, honored almost from the beginning, these matters have been left with the various faculties, and their recommendations are seldom if ever questioned by the Regents. Thus, the internal government of the University rests almost completely with the University administrative officers, the faculties of the various schools and colleges, and the University Senate, which, in practice, expresses its wishes ordinarily through the University Council. The Regents, however, have always exercised their constitutional prerogative in controlling the fiscal policies of the University, investment of its funds, erection of buildings, and the control of its budget.

The action of the electors of the state in writing into the state constitution a specific grant to the Board of Regents of the power of supervision and control correspondingly limited the power of the legislature to deal by legislative enactment with the affairs of the University. Although the full meaning of this change in policy did not become immediately apparent, a series of judicial decisions of the Supreme Court of the state, beginning in 1856 with the case of People v. Regents of the University of Michigan (4 Mich. 98), and ending in 1896 with the case of Sterling v. Regents of the University of Michigan (111 Mich. 369), supplemented by a series of opinions by the attorneys general of the state, has made it clear that under the authority of this constitutional provision the powers of the Board of Regents include everything now necessary to govern the internal affairs of the University. Conversely, they have made it equally clear that legislative enactments cannot affect the internal affairs of the institution, and as a consequence, the act of 1851, as well as all subsequent enactments purporting to deal with such internal affairs, are inoperative. The University is now governed under the plenary constitutional powers granted to the Board of Regents. The series of judicial decisions to which reference is made is fully reviewed and discussed elsewhere in this volume (see Part I: Constitutional Status).

So far as the present status of the powers of the Board of Regents is concerned, the following conclusions may be drawn:

  • 1. The Supreme Court has followed a liberal policy of interpretation of the constitution, to the end that under the constitutional grant of power of "general supervision" the Board may exercise plenary power over all matters of internal management of the University free from limitations contained in statute law.
  • 2. The Board of Regents is, however, subject to the general legislation of the state having to do with public health, safety, morals, and general welfare. The constitutional power of the state legislature as to these fundamental matters must of necessity be paramount, and the Page  149powers of the Board are circumscribed by legislative enactments in these fields. Since the nature of the functions of the University is such that the activities of the institution seldom if ever run counter to legislative enactments of the kind designed to promote general public health, safety, morals, and welfare, this limitation on the powers of the Board of Regents is not of great significance. Hence, it may be said with reasonable accuracy that, under the constitution of the state, the powers of the Board are today coextensive with the needs of the University.

Organization and policies of the Board of Regents. — The first meeting of the Regents comprised a three-day session which opened in Ann Arbor on June 5, 1837. A second meeting was held in Ann Arbor on July 12, 1839, and after that time occasional meetings were held at the University, presumably to give the Regents an opportunity to acquaint themselves more intimately with the University's progress. But for some years most of the meetings were held in Detroit in the Supreme Court room in the old Capitol Building. The meetings in Ann Arbor were held in the Library room at the University. In 1852 another room on the campus was set aside especially for the Regents — No. 23, in the building now known as Mason Hall, but which was then called "North College." From that time on most of the meetings of the Board have been held in Ann Arbor. A new Regents' room was provided when the Law Building (now Haven Hall) was enlarged in 1898. This was in use until 1934, when the present Regents' room in Angell Hall, adjacent to the president's office, was made available.

At the first meeting in June, 1837, five committees were appointed: (1) on ways and means, (2) on buildings and improvements, (3) on the number of professors and tutors. (4) on a code of laws, and (5) on the library, philosophical apparatus, and cabinet of natural history. Other committees, including one on branches, were also appointed from time to time, and in the meeting of March 3, 1838, a standing committee on the organization and government of the University was appointed. This evidently led, on August 20, 1841, to an executive committee of three, "who shall discharge for the present the same duties with respect to the University that the Committee on Branches discharged with respect to the Branches" (see Part I: Branches). This was the beginning of the executive committee, which has functioned to the present day.

By 1844 the list of standing committees, in addition to the executive committee, was as follows: library, branches, auditing, finance, and professors.

At the meeting held December 31, 1850, the original Board of Regents appointed by the governor came to an end and the first meeting of the Board lately elected by the people and entirely new with the exception of Elon Farnsworth, was held on the following day, January 1, 1852. An executive committee, a finance committee, and a committee to correspond with possible candidates for the presidency were appointed immediately, but no lists of standing committees appear in the Regents' reports until 1865, when, besides the executive committee, there were committees on finance, on the classical course, on the scientific course and chemistry laboratory, on the Law Department, on the Library, on the Museum, and on the Observatory.

This represented in general the committees as they stood for many years, with each department of the University under the special charge of a committee — a division of responsibility on the part of the Regents which led to very close relations between the faculties of the departments Page  150concerned and the Regents particularly interested. The departments which happened to have vigorous influential committees were sometimes especially favored, and certain members of the Board of Regents tended to become identified in their own minds as well as in those of others with some part of the University rather than with the whole institution. The result was that in some cases actions were taken by the Regents without formal reference to the president and to the regular University administrative system.

This arrangement continued more or less in force until 1920, when President Marion L. Burton caused the committee system to be completely revised, with the new organization designed to cut directly across the whole University administrative structure and deal with general interests in which all departments share. Thus a return was made to the more general division of responsibilities of an earlier day.

Under this reorganization, in addition to the executive committee, provision was made for a finance or budget committee, a salaries committee, a buildings and grounds committee, a library committee, a committee on educational policies, a committee on promotion of research, and a committee on student welfare. This list was changed in 1939 so that the standing committees were reduced to six: an executive committee, a finance committee, a committee on plant and equipment, and committees on educational policies, public relations, and student and alumni relations.

Throughout the history of the University the Regents have been distinguished by their public-spirited attitude and devotion to the fundamental interests of the University. At times they have been sharply divided on certain University policies and have split into factions in certain crises in University history. The question regarding the abolition of fraternities in 1848 represented one such controversy, and the summary action of the retiring Board of Regents in 1863 in the dismissal of President Tappan represented another. The long-drawn-out controversy between the Department of Medicine and Surgery and the advocates of the establishment of a homeopathic department divided the Regents for many years, as did also the question of the removal of the Medical Department to Detroit, a policy long sponsored by many prominent members of the medical profession throughout the state.

Perhaps the sharpest division in the Board came over the Douglas-Rose controversy, which began in 1875 and lasted for nearly four years, with the state legislature involved in the question before its final settlement (see Part I: Douglas-Rose Controversy). In 1906 a demand from a strong section of the alumni for the withdrawal of the University of Michigan from the Western Intercollegiate Conference resulted in a summary action by the Regents and compelled the resignation of the Board in Control of Athletics and the appointment of an entirely new board. Since this action represented control of athletics by the Regents rather than by the faculty, in opposition to the rules of the Conference, relations with the Conference ceased automatically, and it was not until 1917 that an adjustment was made by the Regents which assured control of athletics by a board constituted by the faculty.

Page  151
Personnel of the Governing Board of the University

ACT OF 1817. — The original act establishing the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, dated August 26, 1817, stated that the president and didactors (i.e., professors), or a majority of them assembled, should have power to regulate all the concerns of the institution. They constituted its governing board, and were to be "appointed and commissioned" by the governor of the Territory. The only professors to be appointed (and these by Acting Governor Woodbridge) were Father Gabriel Richard and the Reverend John Monteith, so that until the act of April 30, 1821, creating the Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan, the institution was under the management of these two men. The board appointed under the act of reorganization did not regard the University as having been the "University of Michigan" from the beginning, but carefully observed a useful legal distinction by consistently referring to the institution of 1817-21 as the "University of Michigania" and to its successor of 1821 as the "University of Michigan" (Early Records, p. 57). The official personnel of the University of Michigania, so far as it is known, was as follows:

The Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania, 1817-21
Faculty (Board or Corporation, ex officio)
John Monteith, Professor of Universal Science and President, ex officio 1817
Gabriel Richard, Professor of Intellectual Sciences and Vice-President, ex officio 1817
John Monteith, President 1817
Gabriel Richard, Vice-President 1817
John L. Whiting, Register 1817
James Abbott, Treasurer 1820
Abraham Edwards, Treasurer 1821

The first equivalent of the present Board of Regents was known simply as the "University of Michigania" or the "University." This board, composed of President Monteith and Professor Richard acting in their corporate capacity, met on September 12, 1817, and passed several acts for the organization and management of the institution, including the establishment of the offices of register and treasurer. These offices were undoubtedly outside and subordinate to the corporation itself. A register was promptly appointed, and, together with the President, separately signed the record of each of the acts passed that day. At the same time, the "University" authorized the appointment of two boards of trustees and visitors, one for the classical academy and one for the primary school (later, schools). These boards were appointed in February, 1818. Within two months they were combined and thereafter functioned as one board. The appointments were as follows:

    Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy of the City of Detroit, 1818-21
  • William Brown
  • Abraham Edwards
  • Charles Larned
  • Philip Lecuyer
  • William McCaskry
  • George McDougall
  • Alexander Macomb
  • William W. Petit
  • Solomon Sibley
  • John L. Whiting
  • Andrew G. Whitney
  • Austin E. Wing
  • William Woodbridge
  • John S. Roby
    Trustees and Visitors of the First Primary School of the City of Detroit, 1818-21
  • James Abbott
  • Barnabas Campeau
  • Joseph Campeau
  • James Conner
  • Peter J. Desnoyers
  • Henry J. Hunt
  • David C. McKinstry
  • Stephen Mack
  • Oliver W. Miller
  • Benjamin Stead
  • John R. Williams
  • Oliver Williams
  • Benjamin Woodworth

Since each board was constitutionally limited to thirteen members, it seems probable that Roby, who as a member Page  152first attended an academy board meeting on April 9, shortly before the merger, was appointed to fill out the term of some other person who had resigned. As the identity of this person is unknown, all the terms are given above as extending to 1821.

On October 3, 1817, the corporation (Monteith and Richard) appropriated funds toward the "first College of Michigania," enacted that the University faculty should be the college faculty, and also planned to appoint a board of trustees and visitors for the college. This plan was never executed.

The Board of Trustees and Visitors for the Classical Academy and Primary Schools elected certain officers at various times. The records do not make clear what their functions were, nor even of what body they were officers. The list is as follows:

Officers Elected by the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools
Andrew G. Whitney, Secretary 1818
Charles Larned, Secretary 1820
Alexander Macomb, President 1820
John L. Whiting, Secretary 1820
James Abbott, Treasurer 1820
William W. Petit, Secretary 1821

Generally, the secretary must have been secretary of the board by which he was elected, as he continued to sign the minutes of meetings of that board. An exception was John L. Whiting. It seems possible that he and James Abbott and Alexander Macomb, who were elected simultaneously, were intended by the board as officers of the University. There is definite evidence that Abraham Edwards was the last treasurer of the University in the "Michigania" period (Early Records, p. 57), but the date when he became treasurer is not given. Presumably, he was appointed by the "University"; at least we do not have any record that the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools elected him.

The original register and the first treasurer had been appointed by the "University" (that is, by Monteith and Richard acting as a corporation or board). The functions of the register of the University, so far as they are known, were like those of a secretary of that institution. This same John L. Whiting, a member of the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools, was the first appointee to the position of register. His not signing the board minutes in the period immediately after that body elected him secretary in 1820 may indicate that the board meant to continue him as register of the University rather than to make him its own secretary.

The existing official record does not show that the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools had proper authority to elect men to University offices, but it does show that in at least one instance near the close of the "Michigania" period the board was uncertain as to how far its jurisdiction extended. "Doubt having been expressed," the secretary of the board was directed to obtain from the register of the University the bylaws relating to powers of the board. Later, the secretary reported that because the register was out of the Territory he had not been able to carry out this request (Early Records, p. 52). The incident at least shows unmistakably that the position of secretary of the board and that of register of the University were distinct.

Act of 1821. — On April 30, 1821, it was enacted by the governor and the judges of the Territory of Michigan that the University should be under the management, direction, and government of twenty-one trustees, one of whom, the governor of the Territory, should be a trustee of the University ex officio. It Page  153was also enacted that these trustees should continue in office during the pleasure of the legislature, and that all vacancies should be filled by the legislature. On March 1, 1831, it was enacted by the legislative council of the Territory that all vacancies should be filled by nomination from the governor, by and with the advice of this territorial council. The appointed and ex officio trustees under this act, and the officers of the board, were as follows:

The Trustees of the University of Michigan, 1821-37
Ex Officio
William Woodbridge, Acting Governor (several brief intervals) 1821-27
Lewis Cass, Governor 1822-31
James Witherell, Acting Governor (Jan.-Apr.) 1830
John T. Mason, Acting Governor (two brief intervals) 1830-31
George B. Porter, Governor 1831-34
Stevens Thomson Mason
Acting Governor (several brief intervals) 1831-34
Governor ex officio 1834-35
Governor 1835-37
John S. Horner, Acting Governor (Sept.-Nov.) 1835
John Biddle 1821-37
Nicholas Boilvin 1821-37
Daniel LeRoy 1821-37
Christian Clemens 1821
William H. Puthoff 1821-34
John Anderson 1821-37
John Hunt 1821-27
Charles Larned 1821-34
Gabriel Richard 1821-32
John R. Williams 1821-37
Solomon Sibley 1821-37
John Monteith 1821
Henry J. Hunt 1821-26
John L. Leib 1821-37
Peter J. Desnoyers 1821-37
Austin E. Wing 1821-37
William Woodbridge 1821-37
Benjamin Stead 1821
Philip Lecuyer 1821-34
William Brown 1821-37
Abraham Edwards 1822-37
Thomas Rowland 1822-37
Jonathan Kearsley 1827-37
Noah M. Wells 1827-34
James Kingsley 1827-34
L. Humphrey 1827-34
Richard Berry 1827-34
John McDonell 1835-37
John Norvell 1837
Ross T. Wilkins 1837
Officers of the Board
Lemuel Shattuck 1821
Charles C. Trowbridge 1821-35
G. Mott Williams 1836-37
Abraham Edwards 1821
James Abbott 1821-23
De Garmo Jones 1823-37

Several men on this board had served as members of the "University of Michigania" Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools of the City of Detroit, 1817-21. These (in addition to the University faculty, Monteith and Richard) were Charles Larned, John R. Williams, Solomon Sibley, Henry J. Hunt, Peter Desnoyers, Austin E. Wing, William Woodbridge, Benjamin Stead, Philip Lecuyer, William Brown, and Abraham Edwards. Within the years 1817-21 Larned had been secretary to the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools and Edwards, treasurer of the University. Also, James Abbott had been made treasurer, either of the University or of this board. For a brief time in 1821 Edwards continued as treasurer of the reorganized Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan, although he was not then a trustee, but after he had declined reelection to the position of treasurer he was appointed a member of the board in 1821, and James Abbott succeeded him as treasurer of the University. No secretary or treasurer between 1821 and 1837 was simultaneously a trustee. Trowbridge, however, like Edwards and Abbott, served on the University governing Page  154board at a different period. He was appointed Regent in 1839. Seven members of the 1821-37 Board of Trustees likewise became members of the Board of Regents at a later date. Among these were the first two governors of the state, who were Regents ex officio, Stevens T. Mason (1837-40) and William Woodbridge (1840-41). The others were Regents by appointment — Jonathan Kearsley, John Norvell, and Ross T. Wilkins, appointed in 1837; Lewis Cass, who had formerly been governor of the Territory of Michigan, in 1843; and Austin E. Wing in 1845.

Act of 1837. — Under the act of March 18, 1837, the government of the University was vested in the Board of Regents. This body was to consist of several state officials as ex officio members, twelve appointed members, and a chancellor of the University, who should be ex officio president of the Board. (Actually, however, no president or chancellor of the University was appointed before 1852, and the short-termed, elected presidents of the faculty between 1841 and 1852 did not serve in this capacity.) The Board of Regents was nominated by the governor and was appointed by and with advice and consent of the Senate. The governor, the lieutenant governor, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the chancellor of the state were the ex officio members of the Board. The number of Supreme Court justices was increased from three to four in 1838, and in 1846 the office of chancellor of the state was abolished. Under the organic act of 1837 the list of Regents was as follows:

The Regents of the University of Michigan, 1837-52
Ex Officio
Stevens T. Mason, Governor 1837-40
Edward Mundy
Lieutenant Governor 1837-40
Acting Governor 1838
Justice of the Supreme Court 1848-51
Elon Farnsworth, Chancellor of Michigan 1837-42, 1846
William A. Fletcher, Justice of the Supreme Court 1837-42
George Morell, Justice of the Supreme Court 1837-42
Epaphroditus Ransom
Justice of the Supreme Court 1837-42, 1843-48
Governor 1848-50
Charles W. Whipple, Justice of the Supreme Court 1838-51
William Woodbridge, Governor 1840-41
James Wright Gordon
Lieutenant Governor 1840-41
Acting Governor 1841-42
Thomas J. Drake, Acting Lieutenant Governor 1841-42
John S. Barry, Governor 1842-46, 1850-51
Origen D. Richardson, Lieutenant Governor 1842-46
Alpheus Felch
Justice of the Supreme Court 1842-45
Governor 1846-47
Daniel Goodwin, Justice of the Supreme Court 1843-46
Warner Wing, Justice of the Supreme Court 1845-52
William L. Greenly
Lieutenant Governor 1846-47
Acting Governor 1847-48
George Miles, Justice of the Supreme Court 1846-50
Charles P. Bush, Acting Lieutenant Governor 1847-48
William M. Fenton, Lieutenant Governor 1848-52
Sanford M. Green, Justice of the Supreme Court 1848-52
Abner Pratt, Justice of the Supreme Court 1850-52
George Martin, Justice of the Supreme Court 1851-52
Thomas Fitzgerald 1837
Robert McClelland 1837, 1850-52
John Frederich Porter 1837-50
Michael Hoffman 1837-38
Lucius Lyon 1837-39
John Norvell 1837-39
John Johnstone Adam 1837-40
Samuel Denton 1837-40
Gideon Olin Whittemore 1837-40
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft 1837-41
Ross T. Wilkins 1837-42
Isaac Edwin Crary 1837-44
Page  155
Zina Pitcher 1837-52
Seba Murphy 1838-39
Gurdon C. Leech 1838-40
Jonathan Kearsley 1838-52
Joseph W. Brown 1839-40
Charles Christopher Trowbridge 1839-42
George Duffield 1839-48
Michael A. Patterson 1840-41
William Draper 1840-44
Daniel Hudson 1840-41
Francis John Higginson 1840-41
Samuel William Dexter 1840-41
Oliver Cromwell Comstock 1841-43
Martin Kundig 1841-45
John Owen 1841-48
George Goodman 1841-43
Andrew M. Fitch 1842-46
Elisha Crane 1842-46
William Asa Fletcher 1842-46
DeWitt Clinton Walker 1843-44
Marvin Allen 1843-52
Lewis Cass 1843-44
Robert Ransom Kellogg 1844-45
Edward Mundy 1844-48
Alexander Heman Redfield 1844-52
Minot Thayer Lane 1845-59
Austin Enoch Wing 1845-50
Charles Coffin Taylor 1846-50
Elijah Holmes Pilcher 1846-52
Elon Farnsworth 1846-52
John Guest Atterbury 1848-52
Benjamin F. Hawkins Witherell 1848-52
Justus Goodwin 1848-52
Edwin M. Cust 1849
Epaphroditus Ransom 1850-52
Gustavus Lemuel Foster 1850-52
Officers of the Board
Charles W. Whipple 1837-39
Anthony Ten Eyck 1839-45
James Valentine Campbell 1846-52
John Norton 1837-39
Henry K. Sanger 1839-41
Alexander H. Sibley 1841-44
John Johnstone Adam 1844-46, 1848-51
Digby V. Bell 1846-48
John Manly Chase 1851-52

For several years (1845-50), both Warner Wing and Austin E. Wing were members of this Board, of which no members save Elon Farnsworth continued as Regents in 1852. None of the officers was Regent during his term of office, but John J. Adam was a former Regent, and Secretary Charles W. Whipple was later a justice of the Supreme Court and hence Regent ex officio. Secretary James V. Campbell was afterwards Professor of Law in the University, and still later, a justice of the Supreme Court; before he became a justice, however, the new state constitution had gone into effect, and no longer were the justices and other state officers Regents of the University ex officio. Alpheus Felch held the Tappan professorship of law from 1879 to 1883. Under the Constitution of 1835, Fletcher, Mundy, Farnsworth, and Ransom served separate terms as Regents by appointment and Regents by virtue of public office. Oliver Comstock became superintendent of public instruction in 1843, immediately after he had been on the Board two years as a Regent by appointment. At that time the superintendents of public instruction were not ex officio members of the Board of Regents.

Constitution of 1850 and Constitution of 1908. — By the Constitution of 1850 it was provided (sec. 6, Art. XIII) that "there shall be elected in each judicial circuit (eight in number), at the time of the election of the judge of such circuit, a regent of the University, whose term of office shall be the same as that of such judge" (six years).

When the first Regents by election took office in 1852 there was an almost complete change in the personnel of the Board. In 1858 the change was complete as to the Board itself, its secretary, and its treasurer; and of the Regents who took office in 1858, only J. E. Johnson remained after 1864. The defect in organization which made possible these recurring shocks to University government was corrected by a constitutional amendment and special laws in 1862 and 1863 (Bylaws, 1883, p. 6), which afforded essential continuity in the personnel, Page  156and thus indirectly in the policy, of the Board of Regents. Specifically, section 6, Article XIII, of the constitution was changed so as to provide that eight Regents should be elected in 1863, at the time of the election of a justice of the Supreme Court; that of these, two should hold office for two years, two for four years, two for six years, and two for eight years; and that thereafter, two Regents should be elected every two years, for eight-year terms, at each regular election of a justice of the Supreme Court. The former provision that there must be a Regent from each judicial district of the state was discontinued; thereafter, although the law contained no explicit statement to this effect, Regents were to be drawn from any part of the state and to be elected by the people at large. Vacancies were to be filled, as they still are, by appointment of the governor. By the Constitution of 1908 the number of Regents was again fixed at eight, independently of the judicial circuits, the term of office remained eight years, and it was provided that there should be elected "at each regular biennial spring election two members of such board" (sec. 3, Art. XI).

Under the provisions of the Constitution of 1850, the amendment of 1862, and the Constitution of 1908, the list of Regents was as follows:

The Regents of the University of Michigan, 1852-1940
Ex Officio
Henry Philip Tappan 1852-63
Erastus Otis Haven 1863-69
Henry Simmons Frieze, President pro tem 1869-71, 1880-82
James Burrill Angell 1871-1909
Harry Burns Hutchins 1910-20
Marion LeRoy Burton 1920-25
Alfred Henry Lloyd, Acting President (Feb.-Sept.) 1925
Clarence Cook Little 1925-29
Alexander Grant Ruthven 1929-
Superintendents of Public Instruction*
Luther Lampheare Wright 1908-13
Fred Lockwood Keeler 1913-19
Thomas E. Johnson 1919-26
Wilford L. Coffey 1926-27
Webster H. Pearce 1927-33
Paul F. Voelker 1933-35
Eugene B. Elliott 1935-
Elected Regents and Those Appointed to Fill Vacancies
Michael A. Patterson 1852-58
Edward Shaw Moore 1852-58
Elon Farnsworth 1852-58
James Kingsley 1852-58
Elisha Ely 1852-54
Charles Henry Palmer 1852-58
Andrew Parsons 1852-54
William Upjohn 1852-58
Henry Horatio Northrop 1854-58
Benjamin Levi Baxter 1858-64
James Eastman Johnson 1858-70
Levi Bishop 1858-64
Donald McIntyre 1858-64
Ebenezer Lakin Brown 1858-64
Luke H. Parsons 1858-62
John VanVleck 1858
Henry Whiting 1858-64
Oliver Lyman Spaulding 1858-64
William Montague Ferry 1858-64
George Bradley 1858-64
Edward Carey Walker 1864-82
George Willard 1864-74
Thomas Dwight Gilbert 1864-76
Thomas Jefferson Joslin 1864-68
Henry C. Knight 1864-67
Alvah Sweetzer 1864
James Albert Sweezey 1864-72
Cyrus Moses Stockwell 1865-72
John Mahelm Berry Sill 1867-70
Hiram Austin Burt 1868-76
Joseph Estabrook 1870-78
Jonas Hartzel McGowan 1870-77
Claudius Buchanan Grant 1872-80
Charles Rynd 1872-80
Page  157
Andrew Climie 1874-81
Byron MacCutcheon 1876-83
Samuel Snow Walker 1876-84
Victory Phelps Collier 1877
George Duffield 1877-86
George Lewis Maltz 1878-80
James Shearer 1880-88
Ebenezer Oliver Grosvenor 1880-88
Jacob J. VanRiper 1880-86
Austin Blair 1881-90
James Frederick Joy 1882-87
Lyman Decatur Norris 1883-84
Arthur Merrill Clark 1884-92
Charles Joseph Willett 1884-92
Moses Wheelock Field 1886-89
Charles Rudolphus Whitman 1886-94
Charles Stuart Draper 1887-92
Roger Williams Butterfield 1888-1904
Charles Hebard 1888-96
Hermann Kiefer 1889-1902
William Johnson Cocker 1890-1901
Peter Napoleon Cook 1892-1900
Henry Howard 1892-94
Levi Lewis Barbour 1892-98, 1902-08
Frank Ward Fletcher 1894-1910
Henry Stewart Dean 1894-1908
George Alexander Farr 1896-1904
Charles DeWitt Lawton 1898-1906
Eli Ransom Sutton 1900-02
Arthur Hill 1901-09
Henry Westonrae Carey 1902-10
Loyal Edwin Knappen 1904-11
Peter White 1904-08
Walter Hulme Sawyer 1906-31
Junius Emery Beal 1908-40
Frank Bruce Leland 1908-24
Chase Salmon Osborn 1908-11
John Henry Grant 1909-14
William Lawrence Clements 1910-34
George Pierre Codd 1910-11
Lucius Lee Hubbard 1911-33
Benjamin Sawtell Hanchett 1911-33
Harry Conant Bulkley 1911-18
William Alfred Comstock 1913-14
Victor Michael Gore 1914-30
James Orin Murfin 1918-34, 1934-38
Ralph Stone 1924-40
Esther Marsh Cram 1929-
R. Perry Shorts 1930-34
Richard R. Smith 1931-38
Edmund C. Shields 1933-36, 1938-
Charles F. Hemans 1934-
Franklin M. Cook 1934-
David H. Crowley 1936-
John D. Lynch 1938-
Harry G. Kipke 1940-
J. Joseph Herbert 1940-
Officers of the Board
Secretaries and Stewards*
Charles Henry Palmer, Secretary 1852
Oliver Warner Moore, Secretary 1852-53
Edward Raymond Chase, Secretary 1853-54
Alexander Winchell, Secretary 1854-56
Joseph Hardcastle Vance, Steward 1855-59
John Livingston Tappan, Secretary 1856-58
Daniel Leonard Wood, Secretary 1858-64
John Hiram Burleson
Steward 1859-64
Secretary and Steward 1864-69
Henry DeWitt Bennett, Secretary and Steward 1869-83
James Henry Wade, Secretary and Steward 1883-1908
Shirley Wheeler Smith, Secretary 1908-
John Manly Chase 1852-58
Henry Woolsey Welles 1858-60
Volney Chapin 1860-64
Donald McIntyre 1864-72
John Marshall Wheeler 1872-78
William Addison Tolchard 1878-83
Harrison Soule 1883-1908
George Sumner Baker 1908-11
Robert Alexander Campbell 1911-31

The lack of a settled personnel policy as to officers of the Board during the Tappan and Haven administrations is obvious. Of all the secretaries and treasurers of the Board of Regents, Charles Henry Palmer, Secretary in 1852, was the only one to hold the office while he was serving as a regular member of the Board. Donald McIntyre, on the other hand, was following the example of John J. Adam in serving the Board as treasurer after his term as Regent had expired. The secretary from 1854 to 1856 was Professor Alexander Winchell, the only person who ever served simultaneously as a full-time member of the teaching staff and as an officer of the Board. Page  158Secretary John L. Tappan and Steward Joseph Vance, however, were librarians of the University while they were officers of the Board.

To prevent confusion it should perhaps be pointed out that Secretary D. L. Wood was Daniel Wood, not the University's well-known engineering professor of that period, DeVolson Wood; and also that the Regent George Duffield of 1877-86 was not the Regent George Duffield of 1839-48, but his son.


By-Laws of the Department of Science, Literature and the Arts … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1855.
Constitutional Provisions, Laws and By-Laws of the University of Michigan …, 1864. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1864.
Constitutional Provisions, Laws and By-Laws of the University of Michigan …, 1883. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1883. (Bylaws, 1883.)
General Rules and Regulations, and By-Laws of the University of Michigan … Detroit: Univ. Mich., 1859.
Laws, Ordinances, By-Laws and Regulations …, University of Michigan. Detroit, 1861.
Michigan. Acts of the Legislature of the State of …, Passed at the First and Extra Sessions of 1835 and 1836. Detroit: State of Mich., 1836. (Laws, 1835-36.)
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1835.
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1850.
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1908.
Michigan. Dept. of State. Michigan Official Directory and Legislative Manual, 1939-40.
Michigan. Laws [of the Session of …], 1837-73. (Laws.)
Michigan. Laws of the Territory of … Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1871-84. 4 vols. (Terr. Laws.)
Michigan. "Opinions of the Attorney General," 1836-1940. Usually in the Report of the Attorney General (beginning 1836) but published separately in certain years.
Michigan. Public Acts [of the Session of …], 1874-1940.
Michigan. Revised Statutes of the State of …, 1846. Detroit: State of Mich., 1846. (Mich. Rev. Stat., 1846.)
Organization and Aims of the University of Michigan as Reflected in Its By-Laws …, 1922. Comp. by Lucius L. Hubbard. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923. Pp. i-xix, 1-94.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1852-1940.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837. Ed. by Frank E. Robbins. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1935. (Early Records.)
Records of the University of Michigan. Journal of the Executive Committee of the Regents, 1845-1851, and Proceedings of the Building Committee, 1847. Ed. by Frank E. Robbins. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1937.
Report of the Proceedings and Debates in the Convention to Revise the Constitution of the State of Michigan, 1850. Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1850.
University of Michigan: Its Origin, Growth, and Principles of Government. Comp. by Lucius L. Hubbard. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923. Pp. 1-50. (Origin and Government.)
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings, with Appendices and Index, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Page  159


COMPULSORY, free, standardized public schools classified into the present twelve grades did not exist in Michigan when the University received its first students in 1841, nor for many years thereafter. But a need for adequate public secondary schools was developing, and the University was faced with the problem of finding suitably prepared candidates for admission. Accordingly, one of the first measures taken by its newly created Board of Regents in 1837 had been the establishment of a series of branches of the University, in fulfillment of a provision in the state constitution. Though their life was brief, the branches played an important role in the state program of education and in the development of the present co-operative relationship between the University and the public schools. Essentially, the branches were secondary schools designed to prepare students for the University, but they also can be considered as an early prelude to the gradual rise of the public high schools and, in a sense, were the first such schools in the state. That the secondary schools of Michigan evolved very slowly is indicated by the fact that even as late as 1859 only fifty of the 3,958 school districts of the state were organized as graded districts — that is, districts in which the entire school career was sectioned off into three or four major divisions according to relative advancement — and but few of the fifty gave instruction extending into what would now be regarded as the high-school years (R.S.P.I., 1859).

Originally, in 1817, a complete system of primary and classical schools unified by direct University control had been contemplated (see Part I: Early History, Constitutional Status, and Regents). But after this plan proved impracticable in the twenties, although primary education was provided for on a state-wide scale through the general school laws, no further concern was shown for secondary schools until the constitutional convention met in 1835. The district plan for common schools had been made obligatory in 1829; yet the experimental period in secondary education continued, as a matter of fact, until the famous Kalamazoo case of 1874 established the constitutionality of support for public high schools through the use of income from the primary-school fund (see Part I: Superintendent of Public Instruction).

Throughout this earlier period (1829-59) there were a few good private schools to which the general term "academy" may be applied — a term ordinarily used to signify a definite type of secondary education. The rivalry of these academies constituted a threat to the public-school system, but the lower public schools gradually developed until in 1859 the legislature was able to pass the first Michigan high-school law, which permitted the organization of high-school departments within the so-called union schools and thus marked the tentative adoption of the principle that secondary education is a proper function of the lower-school program.

The branches of the University, first authorized by the state constitution in 1835, rested on an opposite theory — that secondary education should come within the upper range of the school system.

Page  160It is difficult now to picture the actual condition of the schools in the forty years before 1859. The population of Michigan grew in that time from less than ten thousand to nearly three-fourths of a million, and it was almost inevitable that this period of growth should be one of experiment in educational practice. At first, the township was selected as the unit of school administration, but in 1829 the division of the townships into districts was prescribed, and one-teacher district schoolhouses began to dot the landscape in every direction.

The Constitution of 1835 set aside two funds for public education — the University fund and the primary-school fund. The constitutional convention had attempted to solve the problem of the intermediate secondary education by authorizing branches of the University, but these schools proved only briefly successful before the needs of the central institution absorbed all available income and left no provision whatever for public secondary education. Meanwhile, however, the phenomenal growth in population having made the limitations of the district system in the towns increasingly apparent, Detroit had devised a local plan of unification that eventually revolutionized public-school administration throughout Michigan and made the modern high school possible.

Detroit, rapidly becoming an urban community, was sustaining eight separate and mutually independent school boards, charged with maintaining a school or schools in as many separate areas. Since these district boards were not empowered to co-operate in any citywide plan, a special state law was obtained in 1842 permitting their abolition and the incorporation of the city as one district. This led to the employment of school principals and a city superintendent and made for greater teaching efficiency by drawing more students into each building, where classes of somewhat equivalent rank could be arranged. In 1843 the legislature, following the Detroit precedent, amended the school law to permit any two or more neighboring districts in the state to consolidate into a union district — an action that eventually resulted in the roughly graded union schools, the forerunners of the present organized school systems. For many years, however, the development was very slow, and many communities preferred to continue, and even to extend, the original district plan.

Private secondary education, meanwhile, was flourishing in the academies, and in the public sphere the branches continued for a time. Although they were abandoned by the University in 1846, the idea persisted, and in the act reorganizing the University in April, 1851 (see p. 168), the Regents were charged with the duty of maintaining at least one branch in each judicial district as soon as the income of the University fund permitted — a charge, however, which they never attempted to fulfill. The public schools gradually assumed the task of secondary instruction, until, by 1859, the feasibility of grouping secondary and elementary schools together under public auspices began to be apparent.

From that time on, while the public schools grew, the academies and the few private elementary schools lost ground and finally passed out of existence. In time, "union school" came to signify solely the high-school department of the school system; in some sections of Michigan the term survived as equivalent to "high school" until within the past thirty years. The progress of the high schools was undoubtedly aided by the accrediting or diploma plan of direct admission to the University, adopted in Page  1611871 (see Part I: Frieze Administration). Three years later the legal basis for their future support was secured once for all in the Kalamazoo case, and thereafter they multiplied and were rapidly improved.

In the development of Michigan's educational system as a whole, the branches of the University, short-lived though they were, played an important part.

The history of the branches. — The first Michigan constitution, framed in 1835, provided that the legislature take measures for the support of a university "with such branches as the public convenience may hereafter demand."

As soon as the first superintendent of public instruction, John D. Pierce, took office in the summer of 1836, it became his duty to submit a plan for the proposed institution to the legislature. In his report, submitted January 5, 1837, he suggested that the University should be conducted by a Board of Regents, and one section was headed, significantly, "Academies — as branches of the University." According to this plan, as soon as a certain minimum population had been reached in each county a branch was to be established there, which was to have a board of trustees and a smaller board of visitors, both responsible directly to the superintendent of public instruction as well as to the county Board of Supervisors. Although these institutions were to be known as branches of the University and were to derive a part of their support from the University fund, no provision was made for any governing powers to be exercised over them by the Regents.

Pierce outlined three separate departments or courses of instruction for each of the branches: (1) the classical or college-preparatory course, (2) the English course for those not preparing for college, and (3) a three-year course to prepare persons for teaching in the primary schools. He suggested that the county furnish support equal to that received from the University fund (the county Board of Supervisors to devise the manner of assessment), and that, in addition, tuition charges be required — $12 a year for students of the classics and $10 for all others except those in the normal course who would pledge themselves to engage in teaching at once upon the completion of their training. (Those not keeping the pledge by the end of the fourth year after leaving school should, he suggested, then be obliged to pay their fees!)

The statute calling for the actual organization of the branches was the organic act of the University, which incorporated most of Pierce's suggestions. It was passed March 18, 1837, two days before the legislature decided that Ann Arbor should be the University site. It specified that such branches be established as the legislature should authorize "in the different parts of the state." The Regents and state superintendent were made jointly responsible for setting up these institutions as soon as their locations were thus individually approved, and were given power to make rules for governing them.

As to mode of support, tuition and county taxes were not specifically mentioned. It was provided that each branch complying with the regulations should receive, in proportion to the number of its students, such sums for salaries, books, and apparatus as the resources from the University fund should warrant. This law, in contrast with Superintendent Pierce's original plan, stipulated that there should be not more than one branch in each county. Further, it was deemed necessary to state explicitly that the branches should not have the privilege of conferring degrees. If the legislature Page  162had approved any plan for eventually developing the branches into institutions of full collegiate grade in all the present eighty-three counties, the resulting competition would have been disastrous for public higher education in the state.

The law of 1837 specified that in each branch there should be, in addition to "such other departments" as the Regents deemed necessary, a department of agriculture and a teacher-training department. It was also required that an institution for the education of "females" in the "higher branches of knowledge" should be established in connection with each University branch as soon as suitable buildings should be prepared. In his preliminary plan Pierce had made no reference to women students nor to instruction in agriculture.

The Regents, at their first meeting, June 5-7, 1837, authorized a committee on branches, consisting of John F. Porter of St. Joseph, Zina Pitcher of Detroit, and Gideon O. Whittemore of Pontiac. The following spring, Porter's place on the Board and committee was taken by Major Jonathan Kearsley of Detroit. Dr. Pitcher was a member of the committee most of the time until 1845 and again in 1849, and often served as chairman. Also, as mayor of Detroit in 1840, 1841, and 1843, he was influential in helping to inaugurate there the type of city school system which made the public high schools of Michigan possible (see p. 160).

Two of the first actions of the Regents were to request from Superintendent Pierce a plan for administering the branches and to ask the legislature for a revision of the statute defining regental powers. As a result the legislature passed an amendment giving the Regents authority to establish branches "in the several counties" without special legislative approval of each location. On the day when this amendment went into effect (June 21, 1837), the Regents resolved to establish a total of eight branches in the five senatorial districts, specifying the number in each district, and to open the University proper in September, 1838. Each community in which a branch was located was to furnish the school building and equipment, and the Regents were to provide the teachers' salaries. Tuition fees were to be paid, not to any local authorities, but to the University itself. The sum of $8,000 was set aside for the branches, of which amount $500 was to be allotted annually to each one for salaries, and the residue apportioned among them on the basis of enrollment. The Regents also authorized their committee on the branches to appoint an agent who should investigate suggested sites, to advertise the University's terms, to collect subscriptions, and to start operating the schools. At the same time they accepted the proposals of the Pontiac Company for the establishment of the first branch.

In the summer of 1837 George Palmer Williams was engaged as the principal, and in September the Pontiac branch, housed in a two-story structure designed especially for school purposes, superseded the local academy. Williams and the first principal of another branch afterward constituted the first faculty of the University itself. The Regents redrafted the rules of the Pontiac branch two months after it was opened, making them applicable to the others, when established, and five hundred copies of the new code were ordered published. These rules (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 21-29) were later modified, although not basically altered for nearly ten years, or so long as the schools were flourishing. Pierce's suggestion for governing bodies controlled by the state superintendent and county school officers was discarded. Instead, ultimate control was Page  163vested in the Board of Regents, to whom the local "immediate government" was responsible. This body was nothing more or less than the school's faculty, with the principal as convener, presiding officer, and secretary. The Regents also authorized a treasurer and a board of five visitors for each branch. Although tuition was set as $10 per academic year, except in the proposed branches in Detroit and Monroe, where it was to be $15, the fees actually collected ranged from $3.00 to $10 a term, depending on the course or curriculum pursued — the one high rate being charged for individual instruction in music. School terms consisted of thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen weeks each.

From the very outset many towns vied with one another as possible sites for the branches, and the agent of the Board reported favorably on eight out of seventeen applications in November, 1837. In 1838 the Regents put into operation four more branches, situated in Detroit, Monroe, Kalamazoo, and Niles, and by the end of the next year branches were established in Tecumseh and White Pigeon, thus making seven in operation before 1840.

One of the first private academies to be approved as a branch was located in the village of Palmer (now St. Clair), but in some way it failed fully to meet the Regents' requirements (R.P., 1837-64, p. 307) and therefore never received their financial support. "Branches" that had the Regents' preliminary authorization were operated in Grand Rapids, Mackinac, Jackson, and Coldwater, but the University did not continue to recognize them and neither published reports of their work nor gave them financial aid. Schools conducted at Utica and Ypsilanti sought the status of branches in 1837 (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 15, 20), but received neither preliminary recognition nor funds from the University, so far as can be ascertained from the minutes of the Board; and in other towns, institutions calling themselves branches hopefully carried on without official University sanction or support.

Superintendent Pierce was at first optimistic regarding the means for the support of the branches from the sale of public lands. Then came the nationwide financial collapse of 1837 and the years immediately thereafter. As a result he soon became convinced, even while the Pontiac branch was the only one yet opened, that if all the branches were established which he thought desirable the income of the University fund would be inadequate for starting the University itself on a basis solid enough to ensure success. Hence, in his second annual report, written before the end of 1837, he proposed that 10 per cent of the income from the primary-school fund be used for the branches. Since the sole object of the teacher-training department was to aid the growth and efficiency of the common schools there could be no constitutional objection, and the common-school fund was sufficient to bear its due proportion. He maintained further that, until the University itself was in successful operation, every dollar of income from the University fund would be needed for its support, and he therefore suggested that for a limited number of years the legislature devote to the branches not only 10 per cent of the primary-fund income, but also enough of the state income from the salt-spring lands to sustain the branches without any help whatever from the University fund (Sen. Doc., 1838, No. 4: 29-31).

Neither of these suggestions of Pierce's was favorably acted upon. The use of the salt-spring income for the branches was suggested some time later by Isaac Crary, but apparently the idea was never seriously entertained by the legislature.

As Pierce had foreseen, launching the University itself would have been difficult Page  164in any case, but the actual situation in 1841 was even worse than anticipated. The original expectation was that the principal of the University fund would be created from cash payments for all lands sold; actually the many purchasers were allowed to make payments in securities of fluctuating or doubtful value. Finally, because of the hard times and the lack of any adequate agency to enforce collections, payments of principal and interest were allowed to lapse entirely. Indeed, the legislature in 1842 rebated the back interest to the former purchasers (Price, p. 29), and by successive legislative acts reduced the standard price of unsold lands (see Part I: Early History). To add to its financial troubles, the University had obtained a loan of $100,000 from the state in 1838 for its building program, and now needed a large part of its scanty income from the land fund to pay interest on this loan.

Perhaps the most important change made during these years was the creation of the office of commissioner of lands in 1843, and of a system of checks and balances exercised by this commissioner, the auditor-general, and the state treasurer. This action relieved the superintendent of public instruction — a man selected primarily for his ability as an educational planner and coordinator — from a tremendous burden of administering land transactions (Knight, pp. 96-97).

From the very beginning it was obvious that the mass of people were much more interested in the branches than in the University, for these schools brought the education they most desired near to their doors, whereas the parent institution was slow in starting and was then comparatively difficult of access.

The most urgent educational need in the newly settled state was neighborhood schools in which the children of every family could obtain enough training to meet the primary requirements of earning a living. Such popular interest as there was in schooling was therefore directed mainly to that end. That University funds should be diverted to support elementary instruction, even to the extent of crippling or abandoning higher education, seemed to many people plain common sense. To resist this clamor and to maintain the importance of the University in the system of state education required courage, faith, and practical ability.

By January, 1841, the University buildings were nearing completion and a few students were already prepared for admission. The committee on branches reported that some of them had been forced to leave the state to continue their education. The Regents therefore determined to open the University the next fall, and announced that in order to do this they would be forced to withhold all support for the branches in excess of the previous minimum ($500 a year each, in addition to the tuition fees) after August 15, 1841. Nevertheless, that very spring they approved the founding of another branch, at Romeo, though for the next two years they gave it no financial support.

The institution first planned for Ann Arbor, on July 8, 1841, was to be simply a branch with a "collegiate department." Two weeks later the Regents decided that the institution should be a university and that the attached department should be the "preparatory department." By so doing they were able to make appointments to professorships and at the same time (since the number of students was sure to be small) have the University faculty devote a part of its time to teaching preparatory work. By this arrangement, also, the Board avoided making another branch appropriation. Hence, no financial support was ever made by the Regents to the Ann Page  165Arbor branch as such — or to the "preparatory department," as it was usually called.

Principal George Palmer Williams of Pontiac and Principal Joseph Whiting of Niles were now transferred to professorships at Ann Arbor, partly, no doubt, in order that the Regents should not lose their services through the precarious financial status of the branches. When at last the University was opened, on September 25, 1841, five freshmen and one sophomore were admitted. At about the same time some advanced work was being offered in certain of the branches themselves — at least to selected students and under special circumstances — for in the fall of 1842 two sophomores and one junior were able to qualify for admission directly from the branches of Tecumseh and Kalamazoo (Dunbar, MS, p. 188).

The Regents still hoped that a way could be found to finance the branches adequately, but in 1842 they cut the appropriations to $200 each, exclusive of tuition, beginning August 6. Although some of the principals and teachers hopefully carried on in spite of this action, others resigned forthwith. The branch at Detroit was closed entirely and the branch at Monroe was restaffed.

Although the Regents appealed to the legislature for additional resources, help at first was not forthcoming, and by 1844 their embarrassments were decidedly serious. Two Michigan banks containing University monies had failed, and an increase in the number of students had necessitated an additional professorship. Closing the University was suggested, but the Regents opposed such a solution, even for a short period, since years must elapse before the institution could regain the confidence and prosperity it then possessed. The suspension of all appropriations to the branches was considered, but the Regents were loath to take the step, although they stated that if forced to choose between the branches and the University, the branches would be sacrificed.

They were still hoping for some sort of legislative aid, and this time they were not disappointed. In February, 1844, the legislature provided that the depreciated warrants of the state should be taken at full value in payment for University lands and in liquidation of the University's debt and a month later gave the University credit for some $8,000 for a piece of land the defunct Bank of Michigan had given the University in settlement of its own obligation.

But in spite of this relief, which reduced the debt to $20,000 in 1847, the University fund was still inadequate to support both the University and its branches. The Regents needed to maintain control of academic standards in the branches, and yet were unable to give enough support to keep that control. The result was that on August 5, 1846, appropriations and appointments to the branches were discontinued.

Between the founding of the first branches and the opening of the University the total daily enrollment in these preparatory schools increased steadily; in 1840-41 it was 247, of whom 147 were "males" and 100 "females" (J. Doc., 1843, p. 287). By 1842-43 fewer than two hundred students were reported, but the next three years witnessed an increase to more than three hundred, due to the inclusion of reports from the large Romeo branch. Available sets of enrollment figures for the later years, however, do not closely agree with one another.

In 1839-40 the Regents had employed six principals and six tutors or assistants, including two women. Although no girl students were reported in 1839 it is certain that girls attended four of the branches in 1840, and it is probable also Page  166that some were enrolled in the other branches. No separate buildings for them are known to have been erected, although some segregation was provided, since in the Romeo branch, at least, girls were seated for assembly and study in a separate room, but recited with the boys in some of their studies (Davis, p. 139). The classical course, seemingly, was only for the boys, since the admission of women to the University was then not even contemplated and was not effected until 1870. Yet, as early as 1849, when all but one of the branches had ceased or had been converted into private academies, the Regents expressed concern for having abandoned the task of providing for "the education of females" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 415).

In a report to the legislature in 1839 the Regents stated that of 161 students in the branches ten were expected to be qualified by September, 1839, for teaching in the common schools, and six, for admission to the University. The report continued:

In 1840, thirty students will be ready to enter the freshman or perhaps sophomore classes in the university. In 1841, thirty-five will be ready and in 1842 forty. The total students whose parents design them for a liberal [i.e., classical] education number 101, with ten reported or destined for teachers, and 50 whose future ambitions were not revealed.

(Davis, p. 129.)

Dr. Pitcher wrote in 1851 that the Regents had authorized the branch treasurers to grant refunds of tuition to students who later entered upon this work. From these two statements it appears certain that a definite program in teacher-training was provided in at least one of the branches, but that the number of students registered for it was comparatively small. Moreover, in the 1851 report of the successful Romeo branch, written six years after its University support had been withdrawn, we find that:

During the Fall term, particular attention is given to a class of young ladies and gentlemen desirous of qualifying themselves for teaching.… Frequent lectures are given upon subjects connected with their profession, and no pains are spared to enable them to become able and efficient instructors.… The number of students connected with this department was 57; who, during some part of the year, were engaged in teaching common schools.

(J. Doc., 1851, p. 281.)

When the state laws were revised in 1838, the organic act was modified to read, "in one at least of the branches of the university, there shall be a department of agriculture…" (Mich. Rev. Stat., 1838, p. 237). So far as is known, however, no agricultural instruction whatever was given in any of the branches. The Constitution of 1850 imposed upon the legislature the duties (1) of establishing an agricultural school as soon as practicable, (2) of endowing it with money from the salt-spring lands, and, if desired, (3) of constituting it a University branch and placing it under the Regents' supervision. Between 1852 and 1855, vigorous efforts were made to establish an agricultural department within the University. In fact, the Reverend Charles Fox was appointed Professor of Agriculture in the institution in June, 1854. He died the next month, but previous to his official appointment, and without compensation, he had given a few lectures on agriculture. Soon afterward the legislature cut the Gordian knot by founding a separate agricultural college at Lansing in 1855.

Just what subjects were taught in the various branches is not certain, although the work of the college-preparatory curriculum must have been uniform, since it was planned in detail by the Regents and was designed to fit young men to enter the University, for which the entrance requirements were entirely prescribed and uniform, as follows:

Page  167Applicants for admission must adduce satisfactory evidence of good moral character and sustain an examination in geography, arithmetic, the elements of algebra, the grammar of the English, Latin and Greek languages, the exercises and reader of Andrew's, Cornelius Nepos, Vita Washingtonii, Sallust, Cicero's Orations, Jacob's Greek Reader and the Evangelists.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 182.)

The last report from the Romeo branch, signed by President D. C. Walker and dated at Romeo, Macomb County, January 20, 1851, gives certain side lights on the subject-matter offerings in the duties indicated for the members of the teaching staff:

  • Principal C. H. Palmer, instructor in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Natural Philosophy.
  • Charles C. Torrey, instructor in ancient languages, rhetoric, and Moral Philosophy.
  • Mrs. B. A. Palmer, instructor in French, botany and history.
  • Miss Sarah J. Gillett, instructor in physiology and natural history.
  • George A. Hoyt, instructor in vocal and instrumental music.

Each branch devoted some attention to extracurricular activities, especially to the interests that centered in literary societies, debating societies, musical societies, and declamatory and essay contests. Organized athletics were, however, unknown.

The struggle to keep the branches from being forced to lower their level of instruction was a serious one. Dr. Pitcher reported in 1839:

The disposition which exists more especially at the points where Branches are established to convert these Institutions into Common Schools is a source of embarrassment to our Branches and has convinced your Committee that these Institutions are in great danger of degeneration, when organized in advance or even coetaneously with Common Schools.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 59.)

Several years later a measure was put before the legislature empowering the Regents to "constitute any of the primary schools in the state branches of the university" (Proposed Rev. Stat. Mich., 1846, p. 273). Although this failed of passage it is significant of the strong support given the effort to make the branches more subject to the financial and educational direction of local citizens.

In 1851 Dr. Pitcher referred to these difficulties in retrospect:

Notwithstanding the pains taken to adapt these institutions to the public exigencies, so that their legitimate functions could be performed without infringing upon another portion of the educational system, they soon began to decline in popular estimation, because they were not able at the same time to perform the functions of a common school as well as a branch of the University. A feeling of jealousy was awakened in the minds of those whose children were excluded from them either from want of age or qualifications. Consequently they were soon regarded as places for the education of the (so-called) aristocracy of the State, and the University, through the influence of the branches, began to be spoken of as an enemy to popular education.

(J. Doc., 1851, p. 314.)

Apparently, in spite of the disposition of the Regents to keep the branches up to a secondary-school curriculum and in spite of the fact that few public schools as yet had demonstrated their ability to give such advanced instruction, there was conflict between the branches and the common schools. Local pressure in some instances may have forced the branches to give elementary instruction, for in reporting the committee's decision to recommend their discontinuance Dr. Pitcher wrote in 1846: "The Branches are but little more than the Common School of the villages where located and but of little more than local advantage" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 344). Thus it appears that the branches offered courses ranging Page  168from the merest elements of literacy to Greek, Latin, moral philosophy, and pedagogy.

Strangely enough, the branches became unintentional hindrances to the state-wide establishment of local primary schools, and were therefore criticized as subversive of true public interest. In the towns favored as branch sites not only University money but also local funds and enthusiasm had been consumed. Now that extensive improvement of the primary schools was needed in these towns — which, moreover, were geographically the strategic centers of the state — local wealth and enterprise for another public project were not forthcoming. Paradoxically, the communities that were most progressive in education were thus retarding the development of a unified common-school system for Michigan.

The branches' practice of charging tuition also caused many people to regard them as luxuries for the few who could pay. Hence, taxes collected in part from parents whose children did not benefit from these schools were naturally looked upon with little favor. People in general were not sensitive to the need for public secondary schools separate from schools for smaller children, and, even if they had been, they would have found it hard to get sufficient funds to support public education at both levels.

Another kind of criticism which the branches had to meet was that of religious bodies. Because denominational instruction was debarred they soon came to be stigmatized by certain individuals as "godless." However, the Regents always took pains to appoint as principals men of excellent reputation (the majority were clergymen), and in their respective communities they set high academic and moral standards.

The branches at Romeo, Kalamazoo, Tecumseh, and White Pigeon were apparently in good condition in 1846, when their University support was withdrawn. There was therefore a strong desire on the part of some supporters not only that these schools be maintained, but also that others should be revived, and even that certain new ones should be opened. For example, at the same Regents' meeting in 1846 in which all official support of the branches was withdrawn, the citizens of Marshall asked that a branch be established there.

In throwing upon the local communities the responsibility for sustaining the branches after state support of them had ceased, the Regents maintained that in places where "they are wanted by the people we believe [they] will be sustained without the appropriations, and in other places they certainly do not deserve the appropriations" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 344). Yet this action also brought forth criticism, which continued until the adoption of the revised constitution in 1850 apparently settled the matter, since it made no mention of branches except to authorize an agricultural school and to give the Regents permission to establish it as "a branch of the University."

But the ghost of the branches would not down. In April, 1851, the University reorganization bill reimposed the obligations of the earlier laws. This new law read in part as follows:

As soon as the income of the University interest fund will admit, it shall be the duty of the board of Regents to organize and establish branches of the University, one at least in each judicial circuit or district of the State.… They shall not give to any such branch the right of conferring degrees, nor appropriate a sum exceeding fifteen hundred dollars, in any one year, for the support of any branch.

(Laws, 1851, p. 208.)

No coercive supplementary bills were enacted, however, and the Regents, left to their own judgment, took no further action except to inquire about an interesting Page  169test case devised late in 1850 or early in 1851. Although the disposition of the case is not positively known, the legal ground on which the University hoped to win it makes it of particular interest. The essential facts relating to it are as follows:

Early in the session of 1851, the Regents formally expressed doubt as to whether the legislature, their own Board, or any other authority in the state had legal power to apply the funds derived from the gift of Congress for the use of the University proper to any other purpose and authorized a committee to cause the question to be submitted to the state courts. They also started the wheels rolling by resolving that the sum of $10 be appropriated to the Romeo branch and by ordering the secretary of the Board to draw a warrant on the University treasurer for this amount and remit it to Charles H. Palmer, Principal at Romeo. The Board evidently made this appropriation only that its secretary could refuse its order and thus enable the Romeo branch to carry the matter into the courts (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 436, 471). On December 30, 1851, the Regents passed a resolution to request the attorney general "to take the necessary steps in order to procure the decision of the Supreme Court … touching the power of the Board to make appropriations for Branches" (p. 500). In a footnote it is stated (p. 471) that since nothing further was heard of this case the technical question of legality remained undecided.

William L. Jenks, in his manuscript history of the branches (p. 49), remarked that the case was entered on the docket of the Supreme Court for the January term, 1851, and was struck off for some unknown reason. Clark F. Norton did not find any reference to the case when he examined the Supreme Court records for the years from 1836 to 1857. The records of the May term of the court, held at Jackson from 1847 to 1852, have been lost, however, and these, which cover the very year in question, may have contained some clue. Since the Regents did not bring the subject up again, it is safe to assume that the special pleading for the branches was allowed to go unheeded.

The new president of the University, Henry Philip Tappan, undoubtedly had something to do with the disposition of questions relating to branches after 1852. In his inaugural address (December 21, 1852) he stated that the conception of a number of coequal branches "scattered abroad" did not harmonize with a correct understanding of the nature of a university, since a "branch" of the institution would have to duplicate the professorships, courses, and library and museum facilities, which was manifestly absurd (Tappan, pp. 34 ff.). Apparently he saw in the branches possible rivals in higher education rather than potential "gymnasia" within the kind of a state school system in which he so ardently believed. This definition by a person so well informed is difficult to account for, even though he was then very new to the state.

Thus, after more than ten years of effort and more than $30,000 had been expended upon these schools, the idea of conducting a university with dependent branches was abandoned, never to be revived. After the first local enthusiasm for them had passed, the branches were unpopular with many taxpayers; nevertheless, they had performed an exceedingly valuable service to the University and to the people of the state. At least as long as they were under regental control their curriculums were kept very nearly uniform, and entrance requirements in harmony with those adopted for the University itself were enforced. It is difficult to see where the University could have recruited its first freshman Page  170classes, small as they were, without the branches. How effective these schools were as teacher-training institutions, and hence indirectly as educational builders of the primary schools, it is difficult to say, but several staunch school men, including Shearman and Pierce, continued to insist upon the need for them. In any case, they served the contemporary generation of young people in a direct, personal way, making collegiate training an objective for many who otherwise would never have regarded it as either suitable or possible for themselves. The branches set high standards of accomplishment for the academies, the union schools, and the future high schools. Especially, by stimulating popular interest in a type of secondary education under public control, they contributed to the ultimate upbuilding of the complete educational system so boldly dreamed in 1817.


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McLaughlin, Andrew C., and Others. "History of Higher Education in Michigan."U. S. Bur. Ed., Circ. Information (Contrib. Amer. Ed. Hist., No. 11), 1891, No. 4: 1-179.
Mary Rosalita, Sister. Education in Detroit Prior to 1850. Lansing, Mich.: Mich. Hist. Comm., 1928.
Michigan. "Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction …, 1837."Senate Documents, 1838, No. 4: 1-78. (Sen. Doc., 1838.)
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1835.
Michigan. Constitution [of] 1850.
Michigan. Department of State. Michigan Official Directory and Legislative Manual, 1939-40.
Michigan. Joint Documents, 1843, 1851. (J. Doc.)
Michigan. Laws [of the Session of …], 1837, 1851, 1855, 1859. (Laws.)
Michigan. Proposed Revision of the General Statutes of the State of …, 1846. Prepared by Sanford M. Green. Detroit: State of Mich., [1846?]. (Proposed Rev. Stat. Mich., 1846.)
Michigan. The Revised Statutes of the State of …, 1838. Detroit: State of Mich., 1838. (Mich. Rev. Stat., 1838.)
Michigan. The Revised Statutes of the State of …, 1846. Detroit: State of Mich., 1846.
Michigan. Senate Documents, 1838, 1842, 1843.
The Michigan Constitutional Conventions of 1835-36. Ed. by Harold M. Dorr. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Press, 1940.
Norton, Clark F. MS, "A History of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, 1836-1857." Univ. Mich.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1852-1909.
Price, Richard R."The Financial Support of the University of Michigan: Its Origin and Development."Harvard Bull. Ed., No. 8 (1923): 1-58.
Page  171Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-76. (R.P.)
Putnam, Daniel L.The Development of Primary and Secondary Public Education in Michigan. Ann Arbor: George Wahr, 1904.
Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837. Ed. by Frank E. Robbins. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1935.
Report of the Proceedings and Debates in the Convention to Revise the Constitution of the State of Michigan, 1850. Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1850.
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Michigan, 1836, 1841-95. (R.S.P.I.)
Robbins, Eldon B."High Schools for All."Mich. Ed. Journ., 17 (1939): 220-23, 225.
Salmon, Lucy M.Education in Michigan During the Territorial Period. Lansing, Mich.: W. S. George and Co., 1885.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
System of Public Instruction and Primary School Law of Michigan … Prepared by Mich. Dept. Publ. Instr., Francis W. Shearman, Supt. Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1852.
Tappan, Henry P.A Discourse, Delivered by … on the Occasion of His Inauguration as Chancellor … Detroit: Advertiser Power Presses, 1852.
Ten Brook, Andrew. American State Universities: Their Origin and Progress. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co., 1875. Chap. VIII.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Utley, Henry M., , and Byron M. Cutcheon. Michigan as a Province, Territory, and State … New York: Publishing Soc. Mich., 1906. 4 vols.


THE first constitution of Michigan, adopted in October, 1835, sixteen months before the state was admitted to the Union, provided for a superintendent of public instruction to be appointed by the governor and to serve for a term of two years. The legislature was also to create a system of common schools and to administer the lands given by the Federal Government for the support of a University. Two residents of Marshall were largely responsible for these provisions — General Isaac E. Crary, chairman of the convention committee on education, and the Reverend John D. Pierce, a Presbyterian missionary. They were graduates of Eastern colleges, interested in education, and conversant with current developments in America and Europe (see Part I: Early History).

No laws affecting education were passed by the first legislature, but at an extra session called on July 11, 1836, Governor Mason called attention to the need of a school system. The committee on education, however, felt that no action should be taken without great consideration, and on the last day of the session, July 26, the collecting of such information as would enable the successors to act understandingly was authorized. The Governor, influenced by General Crary, nominated John D. Pierce to serve as superintendent of public instruction, an office entirely new in the history of American education. The appointment was unanimously confirmed by the legislature and the new superintendent was directed to draw up a plan for common schools and a university "with branches."

Pierce's report was presented to the second legislature in January, 1837, and formed one of the most important documents ever acted upon by a Michigan legislature. In it two fundamental educational principles were set forth: (1) Page  172that the schools should be the property and responsibility of the state, and (2) that the facilities of education should be available to every child in the state. The powers and duties of the superintendent of public instruction were also defined, and a plan submitted for an educational system comprising common or primary schools in every township, a university, and intermediate schools, denominated "branches," in every county containing a given number of inhabitants.

The plan for primary schools was adopted and is in operation today, although it has been extended and certain minor changes have been introduced. The development of the branches as advocated by Pierce is described elsewhere (see Part I: Branches).

The powers and duties of the superintendent of public instruction relating to the University were outlined by Pierce as follows: (a) to submit to the legislature an annual report on the University funds; (b) to appoint an annual board of visitors; (c) to administer all University lands, and dispose of them according to law; (d) to invest all moneys arising from the sale of such lands; (e) to apportion the income of the University fund between the University and the branches.

Superintendent Pierce's plan, which remained in force until 1851, was worked out after extended observation in the older sections of the country. It vested the government in a Board of Regents of eighteen members, six of whom were members ex officio. The Board of Visitors was to consist of five members who were "to make personal examination into the state of the University in all its departments and report results to the superintendent, suggesting such improvements as they deemed important."

In putting into effect this plan for a university Pierce had a much harder task than with the common schools. Few precedents existed, and the state universities already organized had failed to become true state institutions, or had languished until reorganized on a broader basis (see Part I: The University of Michigan and State Education). It was a problem of breaking new ground and building on a foundation of his own laying. Similarly, as superintendent of public instruction he had no precedents except perhaps in the powers and duties of a similar officer under the Prussian system.

The legislature concurred in his views and in February, 1837, authorized the superintendent to sell the lands set apart by the government for the support of the University; to invest the proceeds; and gave him the care and disposition of all the lands and other property granted to the state for educational purposes.

On March 18, one month later, the University of Michigan was established in accordance with Pierce's plan. The legislature at once fixed the minimum price of the lands to be sold, at "not less than $20 per acre," and Pierce estimated the value of the prospective fund arising from this source at one million dollars, which he rightly considered amply sufficient for the University of that period. Unfortunately, no such sum was ever realized (see Part I: Early History).

Pierce bestowed particular attention to the branches, believing they were a necessary connecting link between primary education and the University, which in his mind were to perform a dual function, teacher training and preparation of students for the University. That Pierce was a realist as well as a theorist in educational matters is shown by the record of his early dealings with the Regents.

The state, in April, 1838, had promised a loan of $100,000, and the Regents were accordingly instructed to proceed with plans for University buildings, subject to approval by the governor and the superintendent Page  173The first designs called for the expenditure of half a million dollars and were approved apparently by the governor, the legislature, and in fact, by all those interested except Superintendent Pierce, who maintained that the University could not exist on buildings alone, that professors, laboratories, apparatus, and libraries were necessary. His courageous action in vetoing the plan doubtless saved the life of the institution, as the proposed cost would have far exceeded the amount of the money in the building fund. The plan finally adopted was comparatively modest and inexpensive (see Part VIII: First Buildings). Even with this modified plan the Regents at one time suspended all operations, and more than that, resolved to close the branches and to put an end to all expenditures.

The branches of the University, however, were a very important part of Pierce's plan, and in his report for 1839 he urged a more liberal provision for them, suggesting that the University fund be relieved by devoting the income of the salt spring lands to their support. In his next report he insisted upon the importance of opening the University to students and noted that already students prepared for the University in the branches were going elsewhere to continue their studies.

At the same time the Regents began to question the centralization of power in the office of the superintendent of public instruction. They petitioned the legislature to revise the organic law of the University in order that they might prosecute their responsibilities and duties more vigorously and successfully. The veto power of the superintendent, who did not attend the Regents' meetings and was not even an ex officio member of the Board, was questioned. They felt he was not as capable as the Regents themselves of judging the propriety of certain actions. They also objected to the fact that they were required to make reports to him rather than to the legislature and had no control of University lands or investments and were accordingly embarrassed by the uncertainty as to the University's income.

No action was taken, however, by the legislature, at this time. In the same year, 1840, the legislature authorized an exhaustive inquiry into the condition of the University, and the committee recommended that the legislature entrust the management of the institution more unreservedly to the Regents. No action was taken on this report except a joint resolution, requesting the Regents to report such changes as might be necessary in the organic laws of the University to secure the objectives desired. The Board accordingly reported to the legislature the following year that the first change essential was a proper restriction of responsibility to the Regents, while a second related to the trust and management of the funds. They further reported that the "duties of the superintendent in connection with the University are unnecessary and onerous."

Superintendent Pierce in his last annual report before his retirement in 1841 again expressed his deep conviction upon the importance of the branches to Michigan's entire school system. For nearly five years he had rendered distinguished service to the school system of Michigan, and so clear was his vision, so broad his philosophical conceptions, so successful his results, that he has been universally denominated "the father of the Michigan public school system." President Angell is quoted in Professor McLaughlin's study of Michigan's higher educational institutions as saying: "Henry Barnard did not do more for the schools of Rhode Island, nor Horace Mann for those of Massachusetts, than John D. Pierce for the schools of Michigan" (McLaughlin, p. 35).

Page  174The policies laid down by Pierce, particularly as regards the branches of the University, were vigorously pursued by his successor, Franklin Sawyer, Jr. He supported the Regents' appeal for an increase in their powers, but the legislature maintained that in financial matters the Regents might better submit to their embarrassments than to change the law. The changes proposed would also have given the Regents power to expend the principal of the fund as well as the income. Moreover, the legislature felt that it was the design of the constitution to have the superintendent of public instruction "as much the superintendent of the University and its branches as of the primary schools." Superintendent Sawyer, nevertheless, urged the separation of the fiscal from the more legitimate duties of the superintendent, and his recommendation led to the creation of the State Land Office in 1843, enabling him to devote his entire energies to the problem of education.

His successor, Oliver C. Comstock, who took office in 1843, added his testimony as to the value of the branches, but soon discovered that excellent as their services had been as preparatory schools they fell far short of supplying the demand for teachers and that some other agency was necessary. Ira Mayhew, who had been principal of the University branch at Monroe, succeeded him in 1845 and held office four years. He also conceived the public school system as a unit reaching from the primary schools to the University, but by this time it was plain that the branches could never accomplish the work originally planned for them and he therefore advocated the development of the union schools, which had made their first appearance in 1842 (see Part I: Branches).

When the second constitutional convention convened in 1850 the public mind was ready for important innovations. The new constitution provided that the superintendent should be elected rather than appointed, that the Regents also should be elected, and that they should be not merely a body corporate but a constitutional part of the state government. These changes, in effect, emancipated the University from legislative control. Likewise, they relieved the Regents of the embarrassment of control by the superintendent, although for some years he had not participated in the affairs of the University, except in an advisory capacity, and through the appointment of the Board of Visitors.

Although the authority of the superintendent over the University thus ended in 1850, the relationship remained cordial and sympathetic. Superintendent John M. Gregory, the incumbent from 1859 to 1865, advocated the establishment of courses in military science and the training of teachers, and for three years, even gave short courses of lectures on the organization and administration of schools. His successor, Oswald Hosford, emphatically endorsed the University's appeal for increased salaries, while Superintendent Daniel B. Briggs, 1873-77, advocated the establishment of a normal department in the University.

The question which brought all the different superintendents into closest touch with the University, however, was the question as to how secondary education should be developed after the abandonment of the branches. Superintendent F. W. Shearman, 1849-55, had declared in 1851 that the abandonment of the branches was the worst misfortune that had befallen the University, and his successor, Ira Mayhew, serving for a second term, 1855-59, recommended that the incorporated academies and seminaries be adopted by the state and that they, with the union schools, might include among their functions the preparation of students for the University.

Page  175Eventually, in 1859, the union schools were approved by the legislature, which gave to any district having not less than one hundred children between the ages of five and twenty years, authority to organize as a graded and high-school district with wide powers. Opposition to their support by taxation arose immediately, and finally culminated in the famous Kalamazoo case, in which the Supreme Court in 1874 declared the public high schools constitutional and all properly assessed citizens liable for their support. This decision closed the gap between the primary schools and the University for all time and gave Michigan a complete school system (see Part I: Branches).

The boards of visitors appointed by the superintendents to report on the University performed their duties thoroughly, intelligently, and conscientiously throughout the early history of the institution. The reports of John D. Pierce, General Crary, and Dr. George Duffield, among others, as chairmen of their respective boards, provide the most intimate, critical, and suggestive, as well as laudatory contributions concerning the University extant, and are of great value. All aspects of the University's program were covered, even to the way the students kept their rooms. As the University's program grew more comprehensive, these reports became more perfunctory, and finally were discontinued. The last published report was submitted in 1873, although apparently the Board of Visitors continued in existence for some years.

Two important changes affecting the relationship between the University and the superintendent of public instruction were incorporated in the Constitution of 1908. (1) The superintendent of public instruction was made ex officio a member of the Board of Regents, with the right to speak but not to vote; and (2) the constitution transferred the time of the election of the superintendent to the spring elections, when the Regents and the judges of the Supreme Court were elected. This action sought to render the office less a political football than formerly, and since that time the superintendents have for the most part faithfully attended the meetings of the Regents.

Twenty-six men have officiated as superintendents of public instruction, with an average term of four years. The first eight — Pierce, Sawyer, Comstock, Mayhew, Shearman, Gregory, Hosford, and Briggs — were born in the East, prepared for college in Eastern academies, and were graduated from Eastern colleges. Four of this first group also were clergymen. All possessed strong, forceful characters and revealed an interest in high standards of public education in their newly adopted state. To their conception of the public-school system as a unit, with the University as its head and inspiration, may be ascribed much of the University's success in serving the people of Michigan.

Of the eighteen successors to this pioneer group of superintendents thirteen were graduated from the University of Michigan. Nearly every legislature has added to their powers and responsibilities, and today the office of public instruction, aside from the University, is fast becoming the highly centralized institution which Superintendent Pierce recommended to the legislature in 1837.

Page  176

Cooley, Thomas M.Michigan, A History of Governments. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1884.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hoyt, C. L., and R. Clyde Ford. John D. Pierce, Founder of the Michigan School System … Ypsilanti, Mich., 1905.
Jackson, George L.The Development of State Control of Public Instruction in Michigan. Lansing, Mich.: Mich. Hist. Comm., 1926.
McLaughlin, Andrew C., and Others. "History of Higher Education in Michigan."U. S. Bur. Ed., Circ. Information (Contrib. Amer. Ed. Hist., No. 11), 1891, No. 4: 1-179.
Michigan. Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of …, 1835-1940.
Michigan. Journal of the Senate of the State of …, 1835-1940.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, 1864-1940.
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Michigan, 1836-1940.
System of Public Instruction and Primary School Law of Michigan … Prepared by Mich. Dept. Publ. Instr., Francis W. Shearman, Supt. Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1852. (Public Instruction.)
Ten Brook, Andrew. American State Universities: Their Origin and Progress. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co., 1875.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.


WHEN the Regents of the University held their first meeting in Ann Arbor on March 6, 1837, the little town in which they met was thirteen years old. In most respects it was still a pioneer settlement, and, for a time, had marked the farthest advance of civilization across the southern peninsula of Michigan. This doubtful distinction, however, was quickly ended by a great wave of immigration which turned toward the Territory after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, and brought Michigan's admission as a state within twelve years.

The settlers who established Ann Arbor were young and enterprising, impatient with the conservatism of the East and its lack of opportunities, intent upon building another settled society in the hills and plains where they had chosen to make their homes. The industry and enterprise of the little community, as well as its economic importance to the surrounding country, is indicated by the fact that when the University was established it boasted some two thousand inhabitants, and had four churches, two newspapers, two banks, seventeen drygoods stores, eleven lawyers, nine doctors, and eight mills and manufacturing plants, including a good-sized plow factory. A few Indians on the streets, survivors of the Potawatomi and Chippewa whose title to this land had been extinguished in the treaty of Detroit negotiated by General Hull in 1807, served to recall the days when Washtenaw was a wilderness. In fact, it has been supposed that the name Washtenaw came from an Indian word-combination meaning "the farther district," or "the land beyond." Ethnohistorians of Indian life in the University Museums, however, now believe that the county acquired its name directly from the well-known Indian name of the Grand River system, and more particularly, because that name was applied Page  177to the land around the headwaters. Those streams, one of which is the Portage River, are in the present Jackson and Washtenaw counties, and before Jackson County was organized Washtenaw County extended farther westward and covered the greater part of this headwater district. The Algonquian word for the Grand River was Wa-wa-ii-te-nong — literally, the place of the crooked channel, or of the whirling stream.

Transportation was still in the era of the stagecoach, saddle, and ox-team, although the first railroad was on its way and reached Ann Arbor in 1839. The delay in the settlement of Michigan in comparison to the neighboring states of Ohio and Indiana may be ascribed to the fact that the American title to the land was not definitely assured until the final occupation of Detroit by the United States after the War of 1812. Early surveyors, moreover, probably misled by the low, swampy character of the alluvial lands which bordered the Great Lakes, had reported that the land was unfit for habitation. Reports had begun to spread, however, of the fine qualities of the uplands in the interior, and a young Virginian of Augusta County in the Shenandoah Valley, named John Allen, was inspired to investigate these rumors.

He came to the site of his future home on the Huron River on February 6, 1824, accompanied by Ann Arbor's other first settlers whom he had met in Cleveland, Elisha Walker Rumsey and his wife Mary Ann. The little party made their camp under their overturned wagon-box somewhere near the present Huron Street on the banks of a little stream, afterward known as Allen's Creek, flowing northward into the Huron. The two men immediately set about to locate farms and by February 12 had confirmed their title in the United States Land Office in Detroit.

There is some uncertainty as to how Ann Arbor came to receive its distinctive name. The generally accepted story, which has some documentary evidence in the records of early settlers, is that near the spot where Allen and the Rumseys settled was an opening in the forest where a wild plum covered with grapevines formed a natural arbor. This was at first called "Ann's Arbor," in honor of Mrs. Rumsey and possibly of Allen's wife, whose name also was Ann. Mrs. Allen did not make her appearance, however, until October 16, some five months after the name had been officially registered in Detroit. There is also some dispute as to the site of the original arbor. A monument on the south side of Huron Street now commemorates the traditional spot, although some early settlers have maintained that the arbor stood further inland, on Division Street near the site of the present St. Andrew's Church. But the logic of the situation, as well as the preponderance of early records, would seem to indicate that the accepted site is probably the correct one (Stephenson, pp. 37, 76).*

John Allen was a man of foresight and energy, and one of the first things he did was to lay out a town. There is still in existence the plat of the city as he conceived it, showing that the original plan consisted of 640 acres, of which he owned 480 and Rumsey the rest. The north-and-south streets were named numerically, First, Second, and Third, of which the last eventually became Main, while Division Street was so named to mark the boundary between the two holdings. William Street was named for William S. Page  178Maynard, Ann and Catherine streets represented members of John Allen's family, and Washington and Jefferson streets evidenced his patriotism, as, at a somewhat later date, did Liberty, Madison, and Monroe.

Ann Arbor speedily became one of the leading communities in the Territory and one of the principal stopping places for immigrants on their way to the new lands in the West. On the old Indian trail which ran along the Huron, Rumsey had built a log cabin widely known as the Washtenaw Coffee House. A second tavern, erected by Allen on the corner of what are now Huron and Main streets, was painted a bright red and for a time went by the name of "Bloody Corners."

Not long after John Allen laid out his plan the citizens began to erect substantial business buildings and dwellings, of which some still remain as landmarks of the older Ann Arbor. A second business center also developed across the Huron River, and though for some time it remained a separate community it grew so rapidly that for a period it threatened to become the main section of the city. Some of the old business buildings which were built in that section before 1830 still stand.

Among family names intimately associated with the establishment of Ann Arbor, other than those mentioned, were such good old patronymics as Brown, Maynard, Goodrich, Mills, Kingsley, Clark, and White. From this it will be seen that practically all of the first settlers were of Yankee stock, families who brought with them traditions of civic order, religion, and education derived from New England forebears.

But it was not long before another sturdy element which has become characteristic of Ann Arbor began to drift in. These were the German settlers who followed the arrival of Conrad Bissinger, a baker, September 1, 1825. He did not settle in the town, however, until 1831, so the first German settlers were Jonathan Henry Mann, Daniel F. Allmendinger, and Philip Shilling, who came in 1829. This German wave of immigration gradually grew, particularly during the revolutionary period of 1848, which brought so many distinguished citizens to America. Ann Arbor has always been characterized by this thrifty and industrious section of its population and a survey of the business names along Main Street will show how vitally it has entered into the city's civic and industrial life (Stephenson, pp. 72, 80 ff.).

When the Territory of Michigan was organized as a state in 1835 Ann Arbor was one of the principal communities of the commonwealth. Its citizens were enterprising and energetic, and upon the admission of Michigan to the Union in 1837, a group of citizens resolved to make a strong bid for the University which had been authorized in one of the first acts of the legislature. A land company was formed which undertook to donate forty acres for the University. This inducement proved effective, and the Rumsey farm, lying on the top of a gentle rise southeast of the town, was chosen. A Regents' committee had originally approved the farm of Andrew Nowland, on the heights overlooking the Huron Valley just east of State Street, but for some reason the Regents finally selected the present site. Only a few dwellings and farmhouses then stood in the neighborhood, and the campus for many years remained, what it was originally, essentially a farm lot, marked by a wheat field and the remains of an old orchard (see Part I: Early History).

This early effort on the part of the community to bring the University to Ann Arbor was only a beginning of a policy of cordial co-operation, for the most part, between town and gown, which has existed from that time. The citizens were Page  179proud of the University and took an active interest in its affairs. Although in early days most of the students lived in the first University building, they obtained their meals in the homes of the townspeople, and thus began that long and intimate association between the students and the people of Ann Arbor which has been one of the significant elements in the relationship between the city and the University. Moreover, the members of the faculty were active in the affairs of the different churches, while faculty men and distinguished speakers, including such varied forensic lights as Emerson, Bayard Taylor, Wendell Phillips, Horace Greeley, P. T. Barnum, Mark Twain, and Matthew Arnold were on the programs of the Lyceum, which was patronized by both the students and the townspeople and formed the forerunner of the present Oratorical Association lectures (see also Part II: University Extension Service).

Most of the students were regular attendants at the various churches and entered into the social life of the town through church socials and other activities. Moreover, the first faculty was composed largely of clergymen, although no denomination was allowed to obtain control. They did, however, take a prominent part in the community's religious life, active almost from the beginning. It was only two years after John Allen came that the first church was founded through the formation of a Presbyterian Society.

Similar efforts on the part of the other denominations soon followed, and it was not long before several church buildings were erected. The first building used by the Presbyterians was an unpainted log structure erected in 1829. The Methodists followed suit in 1836, while the Episcopalians erected their first church in 1839 and the first Catholic church was built in 1843. The Baptist church was not completed until 1849. The first German pastor, Henry Schmid, arrived in Ann Arbor from Germany in 1843 and immediately organized a German Evangelical Society, which undertook the erection of a small church building in Scio Township, just outside the present confines of the city — the first German church in Michigan.

At the present time all the leading denominations have large and beautiful churches. The Presbyterians removed from the old site on Huron Street to a new church and church house on Washtenaw Avenue, dedicated in 1937, while the Methodists completed a new church in 1940 on a site adjoining that of the old one on State Street, whose tall steeple was long a landmark on Ann Arbor's sky line. The Episcopalians also carried out extensive improvements and alterations in their church property in 1939.

The denominational bodies have recognized the desirability of special emphasis on church work among the students and have assisted in some cases in the provision of special buildings to serve as centers for student programs with the churches.

One of the first undertakings after the organization of the little settlement was the establishment of schools. It may well be that one of the group of nine log cabins which comprised the town in 1825 housed a primary school. Although some years elapsed before secondary schools appeared, there is record of the establishment as early as 1829 of an academy where Greek and Latin and the higher branches were taught. This particular enterprise had a brief career, but it proved the further need of such schools. It was succeeded by an academy in the cabin which served the Presbyterian Church, and, among others, by a Manual Labor School, on what was then known as the Ypsilanti Road, now Packard Street, unique in that the pupils paid for their tuition by three hours of farm work Page  180a day. There are also records of a number of other schools and academies; these included an Ann Arbor Female Seminary maintained by the Misses Page, and a school, kept for many years by the Clark sisters, which had more than a local reputation.

The University also established a college-preparatory department, or branch, in Ann Arbor at the same time that it formally opened its doors in 1841, but this part of its program was abandoned when support to the branches was discontinued (see Part I: Branches). Meanwhile, the town had been encouraging the growth of public schools, and eventually, in 1856, the public schools which had been maintained in different wards of the city were consolidated in the Union School, which stood on State Street on the site of the present Ann Arbor High School. Many of the officers of the University were active in the promotion of the city's educational program and insisted upon the high standards which for many years have made the Ann Arbor High School in effect a preparatory school for the University.

When the old high school was burned, in 1904, most of the early records were lost, and the present building was built upon the same site. In 1940 the Ann Arbor schools enrolled 1,220 pupils in the high school and 3,057 in ten branch schools. In addition to this public-school system, a University High School, enrolling about 300 pupils, is maintained by the School of Education.

Less than six years after the arrival of the first settlers a newspaper appeared, the Western Emigrant, which began publication on October 18, 1829. As with most journals of that time, national and even international news was apt to crowd out local affairs, so that even so important an event as the first meeting of the Regents is dismissed with only a brief paragraph. Eventually this slender sheet became the State Journal, and in 1835 a Democratic contemporary, the Argus, was established. Soon other papers appeared; in 1869 the Courier, begun in 1861 and purchased in 1866 by A. W. Chase, of receipt-book fame, was bought by Rice A. Beal. For the twenty years 1882-1902 this paper, consolidated in 1899 with the Register, to form the Courier-Register, was edited by Junius E. Beal. The present Ann Arbor News was formed by the consolidation of the Times, established in 1889, and the News, which first appeared in 1905.

Ann Arbor's physical growth has been in many ways modified and controlled by the presence of the University. The two separate communities on either side of the Huron which formed the original Ann Arbor were the nucleus from which the present city has grown. In the rivalry between the two sections the University was doubtless one of the deciding factors leading to the expansion of the city towards the campus and beyond, so that now the city extends for more than a mile to the east and south along what was once a country road and is now Washtenaw Avenue, arched with elms and lined with beautiful homes.

Other districts in the city have enjoyed a growth more in keeping with Ann Arbor's place as a county seat and modest manufacturing center. The plan of its outlying streets has been largely modified by the fact that country roads — Packard Street, Liberty Street, Miller Avenue, Huron Street, Dexter Road, Pontiac Street, and Broadway — all represent the converging of highways from the surrounding countryside. This has given Ann Arbor street-planning an irregularity puzzling to many strangers, although it provides a picturesque individuality often emphasized by the glimpses of country vistas at the ends of these streets.

From the time the first students enrolled, Page  181in 1841, the University has continued to constitute an increasingly important part of the city's population. The tiny faculty and student body of the first decade formed numerically a very small part of Ann Arbor's body politic, although from the very beginning they took an important part in the civic, religious, and social life of the community. With a gradual growth in attendance and consequent additions to the faculty, the influence of the University element in Ann Arbor increased continually until at the present time students, faculty families, and employees represent almost half the population of the city. The census of 1940 gave the population of Ann Arbor as 29,721, exclusive of the 13,011 students in attendance during the college year.

In the government of the city, the University has always played an important, although not ordinarily a conspicuous, part. From time to time there have arisen jealousies and criticism between the representatives of town and gown, but these have always settled themselves, largely through the fact that the services of the faculty men were disinterested and nonpolitical. Almost always some members of the faculty have been members of the city council and have served the city on the various boards which make up its administrative system. Occasionally, also, members of the faculty have occupied the position of mayor. The following members of the University's faculty or staff have served as the city's chief executive:

Silas H. Douglass 1871-73
Bradley M. Thompson 1893-94
Dr. Cyrenus G. Darling 1894-95
Dr. Royal S. Copeland 1901- 3
Robert A. Campbell 1925-27, 1933-37
WceWalter C. Sadler 1937-

It is probable, however, that the most important contribution the University has made to the city government has been through membership of its staff on such bodies as the Board of Public Works, the Water Commission, and the Park Commission, where their experience and technical knowledge have contributed to the effective governmental administration of the city, as well as to its beauty.

Ann Arbor is particularly noted for its unusual park system, originally laid out by George P. Burns, Professor of Botany and Director of the Botanical Gardens from 1906 to 1912 (see Part III: Department of Botany and Botanical Gardens). Following the newer ideas in city planning and park development in Europe he inaugurated a plan for surrounding the city with parks and boulevards. This enlightened policy has given Ann Arbor greater park area for its size than almost any other city in the United States, and these open spaces, together with the tree-lined streets and beautiful University buildings and homes, have given Ann Arbor unique individuality and charm.

When the first University building, now Mason Hall, was completed in 1841, provision was made for the students to live there, and this practice was continued when the second building, the "South College," was completed in 1848. The growth of the University, however, was so rapid and its resources so limited that after President Tappan came the University dormitory system was gradually discontinued, and the students, following the accepted European plan, were obliged to find rooms with the townspeople of Ann Arbor. This practice, as has been pointed out, tended to give the individual householders of the city an intimate interest in the University which has formed one of the strong ties between the University and the city (see Part VIII: First Buildings).

In more recent years student numbers have grown so rapidly that the resources of the city have proved too limited for Page  182adequate care of the student population and the dormitory system has been introduced, first for the women and more recently for the men. This has come about not without opposition on the part of householders and landladies who long derived their support from student roomers, but so many buildings have been recently destroyed to make way for University buildings that the problem has been less acute than it might otherwise have proved. Even with the new dormitories more than one-half of the students in the University still live in private homes.

A concrete evidence of the co-operative interest of the citizens of Ann Arbor is shown by the various contributions made by the city to the University, most of them at a time when the amounts represented a much larger proportion of the University's income than they would today. Aside from the original gift of the forty acres comprising the original campus, the first gift was the sum of $1,565 for the purchase of 1,200 books for the Library in 1854. In 1865 the city contributed $10,000 toward an enlargement of the Medical Building and three years later joined with citizens of Detroit in contributing $3,000 for the enlargement of the Observatory. When the question of a hospital was raised in 1875 the city contributed $4,000. Again, in 1889, the city gave $25,000 for the same purpose, followed by $17,500 ten years later and $25,000 in 1913 for a contagious-disease hospital. At various times also the city contributed parcels of land and authorized the closing of streets for University purposes, representing substantial gifts to the University. In all, the city has given the University over $100,000 (see Part I: Gifts).

The question of the maintenance of order in a community with so large a proportion of young people of exuberant spirits has always been a matter of intimate co-operation between the University and the city authorities. From the days of President Tappan and President Angell the University officers have acted with the city administration in controlling student riots, which on certain occasions threatened to become serious, although these occasions have become less frequent in recent years. In earlier days the student habit of tearing up the old wooden sidewalks to which they objected, ringing up extra fares on the streetcars, interfering with circus parades, and gathering for "rushes" were strongly resented by the townspeople, and made disturbing problems for the authorities which called for common sense, reason, and forbearance on the part of both town and gown. Somewhat different was a serious riot in 1894, which took place about the old post office, when the local military company was called out and one of the soldiers shot a bystander. Only the prompt action of President Angell in quelling student indignation averted serious trouble (see Part IX: Students and Town).

Student drinking has always been a matter of serious concern for University and town authorities. Prohibition has been traditionally favored in Ann Arbor from the very beginning, though the German families, as was natural, always continued to have their beer and wine both in their homes and at certain well-known "downtown" resorts. The campus, however, has always been kept free from student drinking places, with Division Street the boundary beyond which no liquor can be sold over the counter. While in the era before prohibition such places as Joe Parker's, celebrated in college songs, were popular, they were relatively innocuous and decent centers for student conviviality, as their student sales were confined, for the most part, to beer and the lighter beverages. At present the sale of distilled liquor by glass Page  183over the counter is prohibited everywhere in Ann Arbor, and by city ordinance beer and light wines may be served only in a restricted area in the Main Street district.

As has been suggested, the relationship between the people of Ann Arbor and the University has remained cordial and, on the whole, co-operative. It has become a tradition that one of the members of the Board of Regents should be an Ann Arbor resident, and the tradition has remained unbroken almost from the first. The list of local Regents has included:

Dr. Samuel Denton 1837-40
William A. Fletcher 1837-46
Edward Mundy 1844-48
Judge James Kingsley 1852-58
Donald McIntyre 1858-64
Joseph Estabrook (Ypsilanti) 1870-78
Claudius B. Grant 1872-80
Charles R. Whitman 1886-94
Henry S. Dean 1894-1908
Junius E. Beal 1908-40

There have been times when the people of Ann Arbor have taken an active stand in regard to certain policies of the University. One of the first of these actions took place in 1848-49, when the citizens, by mass meetings and memorials to the legislature, opposed the abolition of fraternities advocated by the faculty (see Part IX: Fraternities). Similarly, many citizens were intimately involved in the Douglas-Rose controversy in the late seventies, with opinion sharply divided between the adherents of the two churches which were concerned (see Part I: Douglas-Rose Controversy). There has been, at times, of course, active criticism by the citizens, and sometimes by the officers of the city, of certain policies of the University, but these disagreements have all been amicably settled. The fact that the University is by far the largest single factor in the life of Ann Arbor and has contributed, no one can say how much, to its prosperity, is very generally recognized by the people of the community. There have arisen from time to time, it is true, critics who have objected to the tax-free status of the institution, while others have resented the development of dormitories in recent years and the growth of such services for the students as are comprised in the Union and the League. The constitutional position of the University and the practical aspects of the problems involved have, however, tended to minimize this opposition.


Stephenson, Orlando W.Ann Arbor, the First Hundred Years. Ann Arbor: Chamber of Commerce, 1927.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Ten Brook, Andrew. MS, "The Story of Our City and Its School." Univ. Mich. (Manuscript copy of articles by Ten Brook in the Ann Arbor Register, Oct., 1893 — Nov., 1894.)
Page  184


SINCE its original establishment in Detroit in 1817, the University of Michigan had received, by June 30, 1939, almost $45,000,000 from sources other than state funds or student fees. This great sum represents considerably more than one-half of the present assets of the University in lands, buildings, and endowments. Most of it is to be regarded

TABLE IGeneral Classification
General Alumni
Lands $ 981,389.57 $ 1,862,373.95
Buildings and improvements 4,578,850.70 11,012,213.18
Equipment, general 988,585.17 1,415,317.47
Libraries (estimate) 454,178.68 1,428,815.00
Museums (estimate) 314,607.70 133,490.52
Art collections (estimate) 317,276.38 126,189.33
Musical collection 75,428.20
Permanent funds:
Endowment and trust 8,669,008.09 2,823,326.04
Library endowment 32,958.41 362,568.18
W. W. Cook endowment (as of June 30, 1939) 2,079,286.08
Expendable funds:
Current funds, fellowships, etc. 2,519,746.03 361,208.45
Research funds 3,128,227.15 199,840.65
Library funds 153,105.91 29,981.03
Smaller and unreported gifts (estimate) 150,000.00 200,000.00
$22,363,361.99 $22,034,609.88
Grand Total $44,397,971.87
as coming in the form of gifts, increments to the University's resources which do not arise from taxes or appropriations by the state of Michigan. It represents benefactions from private donors, funds given for special purposes by public foundations and business firms, and support given to various University activities by the national government. It also includes the extensive equipment devoted to the University's athletic and physical-education program, as well as student publications. These properties, which have come into existence through student and alumni interest, have been turned over to the Regents by the University boards in control of physical education and student publications.

Of the total amount over $22,000,000 has come from alumni of the University, while almost $22,400,000 has been contributed by public-spirited citizens and corporate organizations and by such bodies as the Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations and the Rackham Fund.

A general classification of gifts to the University during the 122 years of its existence is shown in Table I.

These amounts, it should be understood, are to be considered only as approximations, since many sources which give valuations on different bases have necessarily been utilized, and in some cases, as in the case of the General Library, only estimates have been possible. The totals, however, may be taken as fairly accurate representations of the gifts to the University throughout its history.

The amounts given in Table I do not Page  185represent exactly the present property of the University which has come as gifts or other forms of support. Over $6,200,000, or a little less than one-seventh of the total, has been received and expended for salaries, fellowships, and research, and should therefore be deducted from the total. A classification of these increments into funds representing permanent additions to the University's resources or those expended in the course of the University's educational and scholarly activities is given in Table II.

TABLE IIClassification as Permanent or Expendable
General Alumni
Represented by present property or funds:
Lands $ 981,389.57 $ 1,862,373.95
Buildings 4,578,850.70 11,012,213.18
Equipment 2,303,182.04 3,133,793.35
Permanent funds 8,701,966.50 5,265,180.30
Smaller gifts, less than $100 (estimated) 150,000.00 200,000.00
$16,715,388.81 $21,473,560.78
Total $38,188,949.59
Not represented by present property:
Current funds, fellowships, etc $ 2,519,746.03 $ 361,208.45
Research funds 3,128,227.15 199,840.65
$ 5,647,973.18 $ 561,049.10
Total $ 6,209,022.28
Grand total $44,397,971.87

In the financial report for the year 1938-39 the University's assets were given as $75,741,702.33, including lands, buildings, and endowments. Therefore, even allowing for the funds which have been expended, something more than one-half of the University's total resources at the present time have come in the form of gifts, if this term is understood as representing all additions to the University's resources which do not arise from the state of Michigan. It is significant that almost all of the benefactions made by alumni are included among the permanent assets. Thus, it may be said that nearly 30 per cent of the University's present resources in various forms has arisen through the contributions from alumni.

In this record of benefactions from public and alumni sources the University of Michigan stands almost alone among state institutions. It is true that the first colleges established in America — Harvard, Yale, William and Mary, and Princeton — received aid in their first days from the colonial governments, but as they grew stronger they depended more and more upon private support. Thus, most of the colleges and universities on the Atlantic seaboard came to be regarded eventually as privately endowed institutions, as they are to this day.

With the advent of the state universities of a later era the fact that support was given them at first through government land grants and then later by the states, or in some cases by municipalities, tended to limit the development of private gifts. At the present time only a few of the state universities have received any great degree of support from Page  186private benefactors. Almost from the beginning, the University of Michigan, with its long record of gifts from private citizens and particularly from alumni, has been an exception. There are a few state universities which have received large gifts, notably California, but these have come mostly from private donors rather than from the alumni, and although exact figures, particularly on alumni gifts, are not easily available, it may be said that Michigan has received far more from her alumni than any other state institution.

There is a historical background for this generous support. In its very beginning in Detroit, the first institution of 1817 received two significant benefactions. The citizens of Detroit subscribed $5,000 to start the little "University of Michigania," and while it is not known whether all of these contributions were paid, sufficient funds were received to erect the first building. An even more significant and romantic gift was the 1,871 acres of land contributed by various Indian tribes toward the institution then in process of organization, in the Treaty of Fort Meigs in 1817. These lands were eventually sold for $5,888.40 — a large sum in those primitive days, when the purchasing power of a dollar was at least five times what it is today.

The forty acres of the original campus in Ann Arbor, contributed by the Ann Arbor Land Company as an inducement to bring the University to Ann Arbor, formed a third important, even if not an entirely disinterested, gift. It is now difficult to say just how much actual cash the gift represented at that time. Today it is carried on the books of the University at a purely nominal figure of $160,000, following a valuation made in 1913. On the basis of the values of property adjoining the University it might easily be valued at ten or twenty times that amount. This example indicates the difficulty of arriving at any exact representation of the actual value of many gifts to the University. But in most cases the valuations are far below what the institution could realize upon them today.

During the period from 1817 to 1854 the University received gifts which totaled, at a conservative estimate, more than $50,000, a sum that compares very favorably with the present ratio of gifts to the total property of the University. This public support in the University's early days represents the active interest of the people of Michigan in the institution — an interest which has always continued. In addition to the gifts already mentioned, it includes a contribution by Detroit citizens of $16,500 for the Observatory and $1,565 given by Ann Arbor citizens toward the University Library. Aside from a loan of $100,000 made to the University by the legislature in 1838 to support the branches and erect the first buildings on the campus, no actual support was received from the state until the proceeds of the first mill tax became available in 1869. Therefore, these gifts represented the University's only sources of income, aside from the slowly growing interest upon the fund arising from the sale of the lands contributed by the Federal Government and from student fees, which amounted to only $2,900 in 1855, fourteen years after the University opened its doors.

It must be remembered that throughout this early period the people of Michigan were for the most part desperately poor. Little hard cash was available for any purpose, not even for education; everyone was too busy wresting a livelihood from the forests. Nevertheless, the record shows that from the earliest days contributions were being made to the University's Library and scientific collections. The first mention of a benefaction after the University was established Page  187in Ann Arbor was a set of Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, still in the General Library, presented by a Dr. Charles W. Borup, superintendent of the American Fur Company trading post at La Pointe, Lake Superior. The Regents also reported three years later a donation of an "ancient runic book," the identity of which has been lost, and in 1845 Dr. G. F. Turner, a surgeon in the United States Army, gave a collection of Mexican birds. In 1852 Alvah Bradish, later Professor of Fine Arts, gave for the "cabinet" of the University an alligator and some of the "fish of the Caribbean Sea." Mineral collections, including specimens of gold from California, shells from the "Sandwich Islands," and a collection of "pure and spurious drugs" came in succeeding years.

Upon the establishment of the Law School in 1859, Thomas M. Cooley, as a member of the first faculty, made a gift of a collection of law books which became the nucleus of the present Law Library. In the same year Professor Frieze, while he was abroad, used an unexpended balance of his salary to purchase books, engravings, photographs, and plaster and terra-cotta statues — the first gifts to the art collections. In 1859 also the first extensive gift to the Museum comprised "objects of natural history," collected during a period of duty on the Pacific by Lieutenant W. P. Trowbridge, who had been Professor of Mathematics at the University during the year 1856-57. Originally deposited with the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, this collection came to the University through the efforts of the distinguished director of the Museum, Joseph Henry, and formed the foundation of the University's scientific collections.

Few if any gifts came from alumni during this early period. The graduates were too few and too young. Those first recorded were reported by Professor Silas H. Douglass in 1862, when Eber Ward Owen ('60) gave a collection of iron ores, fluxes and manufactured iron, and A. C. Jewett ('62) a collection of minerals. From that time on, names of alumni figure more and more prominently in the lists of donors.

Every year saw some gifts reported, most of them small, but evidencing a real public interest in the University and its program. Among other early contributions was a marble replica of Randolph Rogers' "Nydia," valued at $1,700, given by the Rogers Art Association, an Ann Arbor organization, which raised part of the funds, at least, by charging twenty-five cents admission to view this impressive importation from Rome. In 1866 Richard Fletcher, a lawyer of Boston, supplemented Judge Cooley's gift with a law library of 800 volumes, while Dr. Abram Sager of the medical faculty gave a herbarium of 5,000 specimens. A further addition to the herbarium came in 1869, when a collection numbering 325,000 items was bequeathed to the University by G. L. Ames of Niles. The same year a public-spirited citizen of Detroit, Philo Parsons, donated the library of the learned Professor Rau of Heidelberg, over 4,000 volumes, the first large gift to the General Library. Continual additions to the Museum and the University Herbarium were received throughout the years from 1870 to 1880, including the collections made in South America and the Far East by Joseph B. Steere ('78), given by R. A. Beal, which form a valuable part of the present anthropological collections of the University.

The beginning of the University's endowments may be said to have taken place in 1880, when Walter Crane gave some property in Detroit to the University. It was not sold, however, until 1902, when the resulting $20,000 was Page  188used to establish a fund to be used for special purposes designated by the Regents. The first actual endowment was the Williams professorship fund, established by the Alumni Association to support the declining years of the first member of the faculty to hold classes in the University, Professor George Palmer Williams. It was administered by the Society of the Alumni up to 1897, when control passed to the Regents of the University. Through mismanagement the fund had been reduced to $14,958.35, but later accumulations have increased it to $38,500 providing an income sufficient to support an emeritus professorship (see Part II: Alumni Association). The first permanent fund in the control of the Regents arose from a contribution of $458.41 by German citizens in 1886 for the purchase of books on German literature.

The long list of loan and scholarship funds established by various classes in the University was inaugurated in 1894, when the Literary class of that year made a gift of $1,538.13 to establish a scholarship loan fund. The following year a public-spirited woman in the East, Clara Harrison Stranahan, gave the sum of $25,000 in memory of her father, Seth Harrison, to be used for the benefit of his descendants. The first professorship funds came in 1898 and 1899, when Elizabeth H. Bates left $13,700 to establish the Bates professorship in the Department of Medicine and Surgery, and Mrs. Catherine Neafie Kellogg left $10,000 to establish a chair in the University to be filled by "a woman of acknowledged ability." Although this fund now amounts to $70,000, the chair will not be established until the sum reaches the amount of $100,000. Two important endowments for the University Library came in 1894, when Corydon L. Ford, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, gave $20,000, and Miss Jean L. Coyl, of Detroit, gave $10,000 to establish a library collection in memory of her brother.

The Observatory Building and its equipment, already noted, was the first building which came as a gift to the University in Ann Arbor. For many years it was the second largest observatory in this country and the third largest in the world. Other important gifts to the University's physical equipment during the era before 1910 included a series of contributions made by the city of Ann Arbor — $3,000 in 1867, to the Observatory, $1,565 in 1854 to the Library, and successive gifts amounting altogether to over $56,000 to the Hospital, the gift of $20,000 by Joshua W. Waterman for a gymnasium, supplemented by nearly $30,000 more from other contributors, and a similar series of gifts amounting in all to $20,000 for the women's gymnasium. As a contribution to the women's gymnasium fund, Regent Levi L. Barbour presented the University with property in Detroit "valued at $25,000.00," now valued at $82,170.41, the income from which is used for various purposes by the University. The Regents' eventual contribution of $20,593.94 from the general fund, for Barbour Gymnasium, was a recognition of this gift. An important addition to the University's musical resources came in 1894, when the University Musical Society contributed, as a memorial to the late Professor Frieze, the great organ used at the World's Fair in Chicago, valued at $25,000.

Despite this long series of gifts, and many others of smaller amounts, it was not until about the year 1910 that the era of spectacular contributions to the University was inaugurated. This was the period when the alumni completed their gift of $140,000 toward the building of Alumni Memorial Hall and Regent Arthur Hill left his bequest of $200,000 Page  189for Hill Auditorium. These gifts formed the first of the long list of magnificent benefactions from alumni and friends of the University, which has fulfilled the dreams of earlier days and has revolutionized the physical appearance of the University.

It had long been recognized that the income from the state, generous as it had always been after the first mill-tax was granted in 1867, together with the supplementary income from student fees, was not sufficient to support the University's whole program. For many years University officers had called attention to the necessity for additional funds to support aspects of the University's program which the state could not properly be expected to finance. Facilities for student social life provided by the Union and the League, such additions to University facilities, collections, and libraries as the Clements Library, the William W. Cook Quadrangle, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Alumni Memorial Hall, and the Burton Tower and Carillon have added immeasurably to the University's social and cultural advantages. Nevertheless, important as all these are in any assessment of the University's essential equipment, they do not fall within those immediate educational objectives the state may be expected to provide.

The tradition of giving, established in the University's first years, as we have seen, gradually grew and developed with the years. President Tappan, as far back as 1854, ascribed the accomplishments of the University "to the bounty of the general government and of individuals," while President Haven in his first report called attention to the fact that the University "must not be left to depend upon the first impulse given to it by the sale of the lands so wisely appropriated to its foundation, but must continue to grow with the … growth of the State," and a few years later he expressed the hope that, "as in the case of many other American colleges, liberal friends shall contribute largely for its improvement and support." The same suggestion was made by President Angell in 1874, when he said: "We cannot but hope that pride and generosity will freely supplement what has been done through the generosity of the state."

Professor Henry S. Frieze, when he was Acting President, stated in 1871: "If the University is to be kept up to its present rank, it must find somewhere … its Lawrences and Sheffields, its Thayers, McGraws and Cornells." He asked: "Can we fairly expect of the State alone that rapid accumulation of grants and endowments which will place us … on an equal financial footing with the wealthier universities and colleges?"

President Hutchins again and again emphasized this point. He said in 1909 in a speech before a group of alumni: "In my judgment, when the duty of education rests with the State it does not follow that the State should bear the entire expense. Much money should come to the University through private gifts."

The response to these pleas may seem for many years to have been relatively unimpressive, but the ideal they expressed was to bear fruit eventually, particularly as the alumni body of the University grew in size and wealth. It has been this long-continued acceptance, on the part of the public and the alumni, of a responsibility toward the University that has resulted in the happy situation in which the University of Michigan now finds itself, in the matter of gifts from alumni and other friends.

While it is impossible to chronicle all the thousands of gifts which have been made to the University, it is perhaps proper to list here some of the principal gifts, those amounting to $20,000 and Page  190over, which have come to the University of Michigan. Those marked with an asterisk represent gifts from alumni.

Lands. — In lands the University has received many important gifts in addition to the original campus in 1837.

1837 40 acres, campus, Ann Arbor Land Company (inventory) $ 160,000.00
1902 27 acres, Ferry Field, Dexter M. Ferry 45,500.00
1908 1,400 acres, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bogardus 22,500.00
1908 Land, including Palmer Field, Women's League and Athletic Association 124,563.66*
1917 Site for Museum, C. F. Cook 34,108.55*
1918 Real estate, H. H. Herbst 72,000.00*
1929 Site for Mosher-Jordan Halls, University of Michigan Club of Detroit 87,053.62*
1929 Washington Heights property, adjacent to Observatory, R. P. Lamont 25,292.68*
1929 3,000 acres, Duck Island Preserve, Hon. Chase S. Osborn 379,375.00*
1930 1,250 acres, Edwin George Reserve, Edwin S. George 150,000.00
1937 Sites for West Quadrangle Halls, Michigan Union 87,117.57*

Buildings. — Among the buildings which have been given to the University, including the value of the sites and equipment when included in the gift, are the following:

1854, 1867 Observatory, building and equipment, citizens of Detroit and Ann Arbor $ 22,500.00
1889 Fund for Hospital construction, citizens of Ann Arbor 25,000.00
1894 Fund for gymnasium, Joshua W. Waterman ($20,000) and others 48,800.03
1895 Fund for women's gymnasium, various contributors 21,207.33*
1902 Fund for Palmer Ward, Mrs. L. M. Palmer 20,000.00
1910 Alumni Memorial Hall, Alumni Association 140,000.00*
1910 Bequest for auditorium, Arthur Hill 200,000.00*
1913 Contagious Hospital, city of Ann Arbor 25,000.00
1913 Helen Newberry Residence, Newberry estate 87,306.24
1913-19 Martha Cook Building, William W. Cook 460,478.89*
1917 Betsy Barbour House, Levi L. Barbour 196,345.00*
1920 William L. Clements Library, building and contents, William L. Clements 1,428,809.24*
1920 Michigan Union Building, with additions and land, Michigan Union 2,324,979.06*
1920 Adelia Cheever Residence, Pamela A. Noble and others 29,101.54
1923 Couzens Hall, James Couzens 619,000.00
1924 Simpson Memorial Institute, Mrs. Thomas H. Simpson 238,474.81
1925-35 Various units of the Law Quadrangle, William W. Cook 6,075,450.48*
1927 Observatory Building, South Africa, Robert P. Lamont 57,817.19*
1928 Material and equipment, concession in costs, Architecture Building 50,894.00
1929 School of Music Building, School of Music 96,393.03
1929 Michigan League Building, Women's League 1,071,799.98*
1931 University of Michigan Press Building, Dexter M. Ferry, Jr. 48,000.00*
1904-30 Total, buildings and improvements, Board in Control of Athletics 3,403,074.78*
1931 Student Publications Building, Board in Control of Student Publications 133,725.06*
1934 Lake Angelus Solar Tower, Rackham Fund 20,000.00
1935 Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Rackham Fund 2,341,085.88
1935 Burton Memorial Tower, University of Michigan Club of Ann Arbor, contribution of 28,745.74*
1936 Allen and Rumsey houses, Michigan Union 168,116.51*
1936 Lane Hall and Newberry Hall, Student Christian Association. 226,400.00*
1937 Institute for Human Adjustment, Rackham Fund 66,143.99
1938 Union and Medical dormitories, United States Government, PWA 525,000.00
1938 Hospital addition, United States Government, PWA 50,000.00
1938 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute, United States Government, PWA 107,500.00
1938 New Health Service, United States Government, PWA 118,750.00
1938 Stockwell Hall, United States Government, PWA 250,000.00
1938 East Quadrangle, men's halls of residence, and heating-plant equipment, United States Government, PWA 350,000.00
1938 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Mich 236,500.00

Equipment. — The following large gifts in the form of facilities and equipment have been received by the University:

1884 Lewis Collection of paintings and sculpture, Henry C. Lewis $ 200,000.00
1894 Columbian organ (Chicago World's Fair), University Musical Society 25,000.00*
1900 Musical instruments collection, Frederick Stearns 72,000.00
1925 Study of University heating system, Detroit Edison Company 50,000.00
1927 Fund for repairs to organ, School of Music 45,000.00
Page  191
1927 Aeronautics equipment, Guggenheim Foundation $ 28,004.62
1931-39 Broadcasting time and equipment, WJR 206,096.00
1934 Carillon and clock, Charles Baird 70,000.00*
1934 Therapeutics pool, Rackham Fund 20,000.00
1938 Facilities and broadcasting time, various radio stations 65,853.00
1939-41 Contributions to various libraries, excepting Clements Library, estimated (alumni, $212,409.52*) 657,852.53

Endowment and trust funds. — Among the larger endowment and trust funds received by the University are the following:

1887 Williams professorship fund, Alumni Association $ 36,000.00*
1894 Fund for miscellaneous purposes, Levi L. Barbour 82,170.41*
1894 Library fund, Corydon L. Ford 20,000.00
1895 Seth Harrison scholarships, Clara H. Stranahan 33,769.77
1898 Professorship fund, Elizabeth H. Bates 137,000.00
1899 Professorship fund, Catherine N. Kellogg 48,785.57
1902 Walter Crane fund, from sale of property given by Walter Crane in 1880 20,719.28
1903 Palmer memorial free bed fund, Love Maria Palmer 21,500.00
1905 James B. Angell fund, Judge C. A. Kent 57,591.83
1910 Fellowship in botany, Emma J. Cole 21,000.00
1911 Funds for General Library and Law Library, Octavia W. Bates 34,066.42
1916 Fund for professorship, Richard Hudson 92,000.00*
1917 Scholarship fund for Oriental women, Levi L. Barbour 635,318.20*
1920 Oriental research and publication fund, Charles L. Freer 60,875.00
1920 Loan fund, George H. Benzenberg 33,043.68*
1921 Memorial scholarship, E. C. Hinsdale, Genevieve S. Hinsdale 27,493.83
1922 Scholarship fund, Cornelius Donovan 134,522.95*
1923 Traveling fellowship in architecture, George G. Booth 21,120.00
1923 Foundation (loan fund), Frances E. Riggs 62,680.21
1923 Dr. M. A. G. Crawford, educational loan fund, Minnie A. G. Dight 32,001.59*
1924 Alice Freeman Palmer fellowship in history, George Herbert Palmer 28,205.59
1924 Funds for Library, Silas Wright Dunning 305,544.38*
1924 Simpson Memorial Institute endowment, Mrs. Thomas H. Simpson 250,468.97
1925 Marion LeRoy Burton memorial endowment, friends (alumni, $38,100*) 106,700.00
1926 Eliot Street lease fund, Levi L. Barbour 50,000.00*
1927 Brosseau Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Brosseau $ 105,677.99
1929 Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood prize fund, bequest of James Avery Hopwood 321,762.29*
1929 Simon Mandlebaum scholarship, Mary S. Mandelle 60,000.00
1929 Mildred Sheehan scholarship in aeronautics, memorial to Frank Sheehan 20,000.00
1929 Cook Foundation, W. W. Cook 117,000.00*
1930 George Willis Pack Forestry Foundation, Charles Lathrop Pack 196,585.32
1930 Fund for dental research, Lafayette Lyman Barber 40,000.00*
1930 Music fund, William H. Murphy 51,118.06*
1930 Bequest, Alexander Ziwet 19,139.13
1931 Endowment fund, Alumni Association 63,965.22*
1931 Oliver Ditson endowment, Charles H. Ditson 100,000.00
1932 Canfield memorial fellowship in otolaryngology, Mrs. Leslie Harlow Canfield 35,000.00
1935 Endowment for School of Graduate Studies, Rackham Fund 4,000,000.00
1935 University Musical Society endowment, University Musical Society 125,000.00
1935 Louis Merwin Gelston fellowship, estate of Lucia C. Gelston 33,163.85
1936 Fund for Institute for Human Adjustment, Mrs. Mary A. Rackham 1,000,000.00
1936 Endowment for Library Science, Carnegie Corporation 150,000.00
1936 University Musical Society endowment, University Musical Society 25,000.00
1936 Bequest, Mrs. Thekla Bengel Porter 30,000.00*
1936 Arthritis research, Rackham Fund 1,000,000.00
1937 LaVerne Noyes scholarships, trustees of LaVerne Noyes estate 69,660.00
1937 Horace H. Rackham trust fund for undergraduate scholarships, Rackham Fund 100,000.00
1937 Sociological research unit in Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Rackham Fund 500,000.00
1937 Harriet Eveleen Hunt trust fund, Ormond E. Hunt 22,999.00*
1940 Faculty salaries endowment fund, University of Michigan Club of New York 124,608.00*

Funds for current use. — Certain funds have been deposited with the University and then expended in accordance with the desires of the donor.

1928 Development of fine arts, Carnegie Corporation $ 100,000.00
1935 Bequest, Bernard C. Hesse (completion of Burton Tower) 60,074.06*
1936 Graduate School income, Rackham Fund 118,908.75
1936 Income account of the Mary A. Rackham fund, Rackham Fund 116,049.47

Page  192Continuing current funds. — Other funds for current use have been continued regularly over a period of years. The totals for the largest of these are as follows:

1932-36 University Hospital, school for crippled children, anonymous $ 33,881.21
1916-31 Board in Control of Student Publications, building fund and investment fund 78,316.19*
1902-31 Classical fellowship, Theodore D. Buhl 21,300.00
1930-34 Fellowship and studies in library science, Carnegie Corporation 27,085.49
1931-37 Librarian training funds, Carnegie Corporation 35,800.00
1931-39 Faculty retiring allowances, Carnegie Foundation 567,906.37
1931-39 Marquette clinic, Children's Fund of Michigan 37,545.29
1933-36 Salary funds, committee for displaced German scholars and physicians, Rockefeller Foundation 35,600.00
1934-39 Bureau of Industrial Relations, Earhart Foundation 46,899.95*
1932-36 Work in community leadership, Earhart Foundation 20,210.00*
1927-29 Chair in aeronautics, Guggenheim Foundation 50,000.00
1921-26 Fellowship in creative arts, Hon. Chase S. Osborn, H. H. Rackham 20,000.00
1933-39 Scholarship fund, Irak Ministry of Education 24,201.04
1923-39 Various Hospital funds, King's Daughters 45,621.02
1934-39 Support of Institute of Health and Social Sciences, Detroit, McGregor fund 68,055.13
1934-41 Clements Library, for purchase of collection, McGregor fund 115,000.00
1901-39 Fellowship, Michigan Gas Association 29,860.00
1931-39 Additions to income of George Willis Pack Forestry Foundation, Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Trust 44,276.31
1935-39 United States Public Health Service, public health course 73,738.89
1933-35 FERA fund, United States Government 163,085.30
1935-37 Joint committee on public health education, various donors 20,626.85
1904-31 University of Michigan Studies, Humanistic Series, various donors 53,172.92

Current funds for research. — Certain funds have been especially designated for immediate use on particular research projects:

1929 Fund for Advanced Humanistics and Dictionary of Early Modern English, General Education Board $ 250,000.00
1930 Research in child education, General Education Board 95,000.00
1935 Research activities in Graduate School, Rackham Fund $ 100,000.00
1936 Lamont-Hussey Observatory in Bloemfontein, S. Afr 25,000.00*

Continuing research funds. — Some of the University's research programs are followed over a number of years:

1931-37 Support for Middle English Dictionary, American Council of Learned Societies $ 56,901.56
1930-33 Dental research, Children's Fund of Michigan 80,500.00
1929-31 Nutrition research fund, Fellowship Corporation of Battle Creek 21,654.90
1931-37 Elementary School fund, General Education Board 81,779.25
1930-39 Early Modern English Dictionary, General Education Board 184,608.58
1930-33 Grant for advanced humanities (humanistics), General Education Board 86,722.00
1926-30 Greenland expedition fund, various donors (alumni, $24,500*) 64,460.05
1931-35 Fisheries research, Institute for Fisheries 29,881.43
1932-35 Research in caffeine, Kellogg Company 30,067.01
1936-39 Dental postgraduate program, Kellogg Foundation 50,000.00
1937-39 Lake Angelus astronomical support, McGregor fund 38,550.00
1931-35 Fisheries research, Michigan Department of Conservation 39,881.43
1931-39 Drug addiction research, National Research Council 156,443.75
1927-31 Salary fund, South African astronomical observatory, R. P. Lamont 38,170.00*
1934-35 Archaeological research at Karanis, Rackham Fund 50,000.00
1923-39 Anthropological research fund (Philippines), Rackham Fund 33,688.50
1933-35 Research in dental caries, Rackham Fund 20,012.25
1931-33 Near East research, H. H. Rackham 74,155.10
1934-36 Research in atomic nuclei, Rackham Fund 25,695.45
1933-37 Teaching, research, and training in psychiatry, Rockefeller Foundation 61,650.00
1932-35 Archaeological research at Karanis, Rockefeller Foundation 35,000.00
1932-35 Research fund in the humanities, Rockefeller Foundation 63,186.67
1933-37 Research in spectroscopic methods, Rockefeller Foundation 24,951.03
1938-39 Support for Bureau of Government, C. S. Mott Foundation 25,000.00
1928-31 Funds for Mesopotamian expedition, Toledo and Cleveland museums 42,500.00
1927-30 Cancer Research Institute, anonymous donor 86,844.41
1920-31 Humanistic research fund, various donors 55,399.03
1924-31 Funds for research in Near East, various donors 397,800.00

Page  193

Financial Report, Univ. Mich., 1917-40.
"Gifts." (1817-1934). P.R., 1934-35, pp. 289-94.
"Gifts." (1931-39). P.R., 1938-39, pp. 367-75.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940.
Price, Richard R.The Financial Support of State Universities. (Harvard Stud. Ed., Vol. XI.) Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1924.
Price, Richard R."The Financial Support of the University of Michigan: Its Origin and Development."Harvard Bull. Ed., No. 8 (1923): 1-58.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940.
Shaw, Wilfred B.A Short History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: George Wahr, 1934.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.


The Mexican War. — The part which the alumni and nongraduates of the University have played in the wars of the country has been a very large and impressive one. By the close of the Mexican War the University had been open less than seven years, and the total number of its students and former students, exclusive of nongraduates, was only 103. The war was, moreover, not favored by the North; yet there were five University men who fought in Mexico, three of them officers.

Paul W. H. Rawls, who graduated in the first class (1845), Captain of Company A of the First Michigan Infantry, was mustered in November 29, 1847, and was mustered out July 18, 1848, after the completion of the war. Platt S. Titus, who attended the University in 1842-43, was one of the two University men who fought in both the Mexican and the Civil wars. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Fifteenth United States Infantry in 1847, and at the storming of Chapultepec in 1847 he was made brevet first lieutenant "for gallant and meritorious conduct." His regiment was disbanded in 1848. In the Civil War he was a first lieutenant and later captain of Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry.

O. Satterlee Hoffman, who attended the University in 1843-44, was lieutenant of artillery in the Mexican War and was killed by a cannon shot in the battle of Chapultepec. Jabez Smith Cook, a student in the Department of Medicine and Surgery in 1851-52, was a private in Company H of the Second Kentucky Infantry from May to September, 1846. Comfort Everett Rutherford, a medical student in 1865-66, was musician in the Ohio Infantry, 1847-48, served in the Mexican War, and was later a sergeant in the Civil War.

Of the 103 University of Michigan graduates who were in attendance before the close of the Mexican War (1837-52), 17, or 1 in 6, were soldiers in the Civil War.

The Civil War. — The news that the Confederate army had fired upon Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston reached Ann Arbor on a Sunday. Religious services seem to have been forgotten. A platform was quickly erected on the courthouse square, and President Tappan of the University addressed a great throng. After reading a few passages from the Old Testament, he spoke with much power.

Page  194Three companies of student soldiers were at once recruited: the Tappan Guards, commanded by Captain Charles Kendall Adams ('61), later Professor of History in the University, and President of Cornell and Wisconsin, the Chancellor Greys, commanded by Captain Isaac H. Elliott ('61), and the Ellsworth Zouaves under Captain Albert Nye ('62). A large part of the University's body of students underwent the military drill continued through 1861 and 1862, and nearly one-half the members of the classes of 1859, 1860, 1861, and 1862 entered the war — 78 out of 165. Of the twenty-two of the class of 1862, seven were casualties.

The entire contribution to the prosecution of the war by University of Michigan men was a very impressive one. In all, according to the unpublished memorial roster prepared under the direction of the late Professor Isaac N. Demmon, 1,804 men served with the colors, of which number 61 are known to have been killed or to have died of wounds, 48 to have died of disease while in service, and 181 to have been discharged because of wounds or disability — 15.7 per cent, or nearly 1 in 8. (It is interesting to note how the number has grown. The list published in the University Catalogue of 1864-65 numbers 674. On the tablet in Alumni Memorial Hall this number is stated to be 1,514, whereas by our analysis of the memorial roster it is 1,804. This number, it is believed, is very nearly complete, though as regards the highest ranks of the officers in the list it has been necessary to edit the roster to some extent. For example, if a man was rated as a noncommissioned officer and was regimental adjutant or aide to a general, he has in the analysis been given a conservative rank of lieutenant, since many gaps in the promotions entered in the roster are self-evident.)

The number who served as officers, and especially as commissioned officers, is large. Few University men seem to have entered the navy, five only, and all these were seamen. In the army, the field officers of the line were 2 brigadier generals, 28 colonels, 32 lieutenant colonels, and 31 majors; of lower rank, line (commissioned): captains, 220; first lieutenants, 149; and second lieutenants, 66; line (noncommissioned): sergeants, 150; and corporals, 108; medical: surgeons, 156; and assistant surgeons, 275; clerical: chaplains, 8.

University men under Captain Gabriel Campbell ('65) composed Company E of the Seventeenth Michigan Regiment and were known as the "singing company." They were mustered in during the summer of 1862, and only two weeks after they left the campus they were fiercely engaged at the battle of South Mountain, where Drayton's brigade of Confederate troops was strongly entrenched behind stone walls on the crest of a steep mountain and had supporting batteries in commanding positions. Orders were received from the Union command to silence the enemy batteries, and the Seventeenth Michigan was ordered forward. This charge appeared so desperate that volunteers were called for, and the singing company responded to a man. They charged and drove the enemy from their position. The regiment was afterwards known as "the stonewall regiment." As the battle was reported by the New York Press:

The impetuous charges of some of our regiments, particularly that of the 17th Michigan, but two weeks from home, carried everything before it, and the dead bodies of the enemy on that mountain crest lay thick enough for stepping stones. Nearly the whole of General Drayton's brigade was killed, wounded or captured.

The Twentieth Michigan Infantry, with almost half of its men from Washtenaw County, contained two companies of Ann Arbor men. All the officers were Page  195University men, as were indeed many officers of the other companies. Of this regiment's total enrollment of 1,157 men between November, 1863, and November, 1864, 537, or nearly one-half, were included in the list of killed, wounded, and prisoners:

Three times the regiment lost almost 50 per cent of the men engaged, at Spottsylvania, at Petersburg, and finally at the assault on the crater, after which there were only eighty men and four officers left for duty.

(Shaw, p. 302.)

Captain W. H. Allen Zacharias ('60), of the Seventh Michigan Infantry, was mortally wounded at the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. His body was found on the battlefield. The following lines were written on an old envelope clutched in his dead hand:

Dear Parent, Brothers and Sisters: I am wounded, mortally I think. The fight rages round me. I have done my duty. This is my consolation. I hope to meet you all again. I left not the line until all had fallen and colors gone. I am getting weak. My arms are free but below my chest all is numb. The enemy trotting over me. The numbness up to my heart. Good-bye all.

Your son,


William Longshaw ('59m), Assistant Surgeon in the navy, was cited in General Orders for heroism at the attack on Fort Moultrie. He was later killed in equally heroic action at the attack on Fort Fisher on January 18, 1865, while attending a wounded marine under fire.

The Spanish-American War. — In the spring of 1898, when it became apparent that the United States would be involved in a war with Spain, a mass meeting was held which crowded the auditorium in University Hall. Acting President Hutchins presided, and Professors Bradley M. Thompson, Jerome C. Knowlton, and Richard Hudson, Dean Victor C. Vaughan, and Colonel Henry S. Dean addressed the meeting. Students were urged to keep cool, but yet to get ready. Plans for military drill were considered.

In service in the Spanish-American War the total enrollment of University of Michigan men was 576. In the army the enrollment was 514. The statistics on officers are as follows: brigadier general, 1; colonel, 2; lieutenant colonel, 1; major, 8; captain, 41; first lieutenant, 43; second lieutenant, 22; sergeant, 50; corporal, 55; surgeon, 40; assistant surgeon, 22.

In the navy the enrollment was sixty-one, and in the marine corps, one, a second lieutenant. In the navy the officers in the line were one captain and four ensigns. The casualties in the service were small. The number of killed in both army and navy was five; nine died of disease; and two were wounded.

The University of Michigan men enlisted in the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Michigan Infantry, and these regiments served in the Cuban campaign brigaded with the Ninth Massachusetts, with Brigadier General Henry M. Duffield, who attended the University in 1858-59, commanding. Said a war correspondent:

During the campaign I saw many University of Michigan men doing their duty. Both the Thirty-third and the Thirty-fourth Michigan did excellent work. That of the Thirty-third was the most onerous of any regiment in the campaign. It had to guard Siboney most of the time and look after the Spanish prisoners all of the time. The men had to bear the brunt of the yellow fever from start to finish. These regiments were also greatly superior, physically, to any of the other volunteer organizations there, excepting the First Volunteer Cavalry, which was composed of picked men.

(Scoville, p. 104.)

Dr. Vaughan reported: "During the Santiago Campaign the Thirty-third Michigan alone stood between a well equipped Spanish garrison of five hundred men easily reinforced at any time Page  196… and all of the supplies, food and ordnance at Siboney."

Three Michigan men served in the "Rough Riders" of Roosevelt, the First United States Volunteer Cavalry, and one of them, Oliver B. Norton, a medical student here in 1897-98, fell in the charge up San Juan Hill. Colonel Roosevelt said of him: "He was not only a gallant soldier but a true and brave man." One soldier, Antonio Prudenthia Entenza, a private in Company D, Thirty-fourth Infantry, was in April, 1898, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He studied law at the University in 1907-8.

Four Michigan men were in the Second United States Cavalry, known as "Torrey's Rough Riders."

Fuller information concerning Michigan's participation in the war is to be found in "Michigan in the War." This article listed 259 participants in the war, whereas our analysis of the typed roster at the Library gives 576.

From the faculties, a dean, a professor of mechanical engineering, a professor of ophthalmology, and a head surgeon of the University Hospital were in active service. Victor C. Vaughan (Ph.D. '76, '78m, LL.D. '00), Dean of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, was a division surgeon with the rank of major. He and Charles B. de Nancrede, Professor of Surgery, who held the same rank in the medical staff, were at the base hospital in Siboney where all the wounded from the battle of Santiago were treated. Dr. Vaughan was later stricken with yellow fever. The heroic deeds and faithful services of both Vaughan and De Nancrede were mentioned in the report of the officer in charge of the Siboney division hospital. Dean Mortimer E. Cooley was chief engineer on the United States' converted cruiser "Yosemite," which was on blockade duty and acted as scout and convoy. Walter R. Parker ('88e, M.D. Pennsylvania '91), Professor of Ophthalmology, was watch and division officer, with the rank of ensign, on the "Yosemite."

Of the fifty-six men who served in the navy during the war, forty-six were assigned to the "Yosemite," manned by the Michigan Naval Reserve.

In June, a month after going into commission, the "Yosemite" acted as convoy for the "Armeria," which was loaded with ammunition for Key West, and later as convoy for eight hundred marines destined for Guantanamo. In the same month, under her fire, the "Antonio Lopez," bound to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with ammunition and supplies, was driven ashore and destroyed under the guns of the forts and of three enemy gunboats.

Of the seamen on the "Yosemite," Edwin Denby ('96l), who had been famous as center on the University football team, was gunner's mate, third class, and afterward was Secretary of the Navy in President Harding's cabinet. Theodore H. Hinchman ('91, '93e), Chief Machinist, was in later years widely known as an architect, and was one of those who designed the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

The University's contribution to the administration of the war was noteworthy. In President McKinley's cabinet the secretary of state was William R. Day ('70, LL.D. '98), afterward president of the Peace Commission at Paris. Senator Cushman K. Davis ('57, LL.D. '86) was chairman of the United States Senate committee on foreign affairs, and later was a member of the Peace Commission at Paris. Dean C. Worcester ('89, Sc.D. hon. '14), Instructor and later Assistant Professor of Zoology, was a member of the Philippine commission of 1899-1913, and was Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Insular Government from 1901 to 1913. George de Rue Meikeljohn ('80l) was Assistant Secretary of War for the period 1897-1901.

Page  197The World War. — Unlike the earlier wars in which the United States had become engaged, the World War of 1914-18 did not immediately involve the United States.

A considerable percentage of the American people were of German birth or extraction and strongly sympathetic with Germany. This, and the traditional attitude of the country in opposition to participation in the wars of Europe, aided by a whirlwind of propaganda which swept the country, resulted, under the Wilson administration, in a policy of "watchful waiting" without preparation. The Oratorical Association, which brought nonresident lecturers to address the student body, included speakers opposed to war — Bryan, Jordan, Wise, Beveridge, Norman Angell, and others — but no single speaker who set forth the need of national preparedness.

To meet this attitude toward preparedness, which was only less marked in many other communities, the so-called "preparedness" movement was started in the country and various defense organizations to develop opinion were set up, with headquarters in New York City. The largest and most important of these was the National Security League, and as early as October, 1915, an Ann Arbor branch was started in the University by Professor Hobbs, with President Emeritus Angell the honorary chairman and with some sixty charter members from the faculties as a nucleus (Mich. Daily, Nov. 6, 1915). The membership was soon afterward much enlarged from both "town" and "gown," and the local organization was recognized as the most active branch within the state. Its chairman was placed on the executive committee of the national organization, where he served throughout the war. In March, 1917, the membership of the Ann Arbor branch was 245.

Through lectures and meetings the Ann Arbor branch of the National Security League sought especially to impress upon the community the need for acting at once to prepare the country with adequate defense, and to start military training upon the campus. Colonel L. R. Gignilliat, the head of the Culver Military Academy, General Leonard Wood, Admiral Peary, Frederick R. Coudert, of New York, and former Secretary of War Stimson were all brought to the campus to address the faculty and students. A meeting held in Hill Auditorium, February 23, 1915, with all standing room taken, was addressed by General Wood and Admiral Peary. It was a stirring occasion not likely to be forgotten by anyone who attended it.

Voluntary military training of students was started upon the campus and was carried on under the able direction of Major Clyde Wilson, of the College of Engineering faculty, a high-ranking officer in the Michigan National Guard. The work started in 1916 and grew rapidly, until, at the close of the spring semester, as many as nine hundred men were in training. Deans Victor C. Vaughan, Mortimer E. Cooley, and Henry M. Bates were all active in promoting the work of the Security League, although, on the other hand, several professors connected with the Department of German used their classrooms for active German propaganda and were consequently dismissed.

In the spring of 1916 a group of distinguished Americans, including many professors in American universities, signed a memorial of sympathy with the Entente allies in their struggle with Germany (Journal des Débats, Apr. 29, 1916). Among the five hundred signers of this memorial were fourteen University of Michigan professors — Barrett, Bates, Bigelow, Bonner, Hewlett, Hobbs, Kelsey, Lombard, De Nancrede, Page  198Novy, Reeves, Sadler, Van Tyne, and Vaughan (Ann Arbor Times News, Apr. 14, 1916; Mich. Daily, Apr. 18, 1916). The memorial set forth, among other things, that "we are expressing the conviction and feelings of the overwhelming majority of Americans." This action was denounced to President Hutchins by Congressman Cramton, who represented a section of the state where there were many citizens of German extraction.

The Security League early took up actively in the University Senate the question of the adoption of compulsory military training upon the campus. Already, on November 24, 1914, the organization had presented a petition signed by fifty members of the faculty requesting the establishment of military training upon the campus, but without response from the Board of Regents.

A large and representative committee of the University Senate was appointed to consider the matter, and the meeting of November 8, 1915, at which it came up for final action, was one of the largest in the history of the Senate. The result was an overwhelming vote for compulsory military training of students for the first two years, under General Order No. 49 of the War Department — essentially the system then in use in the landgrant colleges. Carried up to the Board of Regents, the matter was tabled. The subject was, however, much discussed in the press by members of the faculty and students, and a straw ballot to test the student feeling was carried through by the Michigan Daily. This ballot, to the surprise probably of both sides, showed a small majority for compulsory training, with about one-third of the student body voting ("Military Training," p. 148).

As the country drifted toward war, student feeling changed markedly, and in March, 1917, a new straw ballot with a large majority of the male students voting declared for compulsory military training by an altogether overwhelming vote — 3,369 for and 632 against. The number of students enrolled in the University that spring, according to a count announced in the Michigan Daily on April 18, was 7,517.

Soon after this student ballot had been taken, the Regents took from the table the Senate action nearly a year and a half old, and by unanimous action they rejected it and adopted in its place a plan for voluntary training with a large proportion of theoretical (lecture) work in place of military drill. This plan was possible under a new modification of the War Department's General Order No. 48, which had been made in response to an urgent appeal from a group of university presidents. General Leonard Wood, whose advice had been asked by the Regents, had strongly urged compulsory training (Detroit Free Press, Feb. 15, 1916).

The Regents' rejection of the University Senate plan occurred only a week before the United States entered the war. The Security League had arranged a monster mass meeting to be held in Hill Auditorium on the afternoon of April 2, with addresses by Frederick R. Coudert, of New York City, eminent international lawyer, and the Honorable Henry L. Stimson, former Secretary of War. While this meeting was in progress, President Wilson was addressing the houses of Congress meeting in joint session, to ask for a declaration of a state of war with Germany. All University classes were suspended during the meeting, and all standing room in the great auditorum was taken. The chairman of the Security League presided. As reported by the Michigan Alumnus (23: 446-47):

Michigan became aroused as never before. The whole atmosphere became charged in an Page  199instant. The citizens of Ann Arbor, together with the two University divisions of the Michigan Naval Militia in uniform and the student volunteer divisions, filled the great hall to its utmost capacity, more than 5,500 persons witnessing the demonstration.

According to another account:

As the uplift of the great demonstration held on Monday in Hill Auditorium is succeeded by calm reflection, the gathering takes on more and more the character of a great service of consecration to the nation in its hour of need …

Both the speakers were much moved by the occasion and by the rapt and even intense attitude of the great audience. As the … national emblem floated down …, Mr. Coudert exclaimed, "My, but that is inspiring!" Mr. Stimson was visibly affected, his voice betraying his emotion throughout the speech …

The roar of the "ayes" which came in voting on the resolutions suggested a touchdown at football, and there could be no doubt of the earnestness that lay behind it.

(Mich. Daily, Apr. 5, 1917.)

Following this meeting the students turned out in great numbers for drill, and Major Wilson and his helpers had to deal with no less than twelve hundred men. In addition to the gymnasium, other University buildings were brought into use, and State Street was occupied by marching men. Major Wilson in this strait called in fifty faculty men to assist him, and they were drilled at special additional hours.

When President Hutchins' letter asking for the detail of an army officer to drill students under the regental plan was sent, we were already at war and all efficient officers were already assigned to other tasks. The letter therefore brought no response, but two professors, through a personal visit to Washington and a representation of the wealth of officer material available at the University, were able to secure an invalid officer through transfer from another university that had been lukewarm on military training. The promise of fifteen hundred old Springfield rifles was also secured. Under this arrangement Major Charles W. Castle, Professor of Military Science and Tactics, was assigned to the University and was the first to hold this title. His physical infirmities stood in the way of any efficient work in training, but since we were already at war his presence upon the campus gave official standing to the University efforts, and he was able to make examinations of students who were applying for admission to the army training camps now established. By May, 315 men had been examined and recommended for the camps. Major Castle was materially aided in this by an action of the University Senate, approved by the Regents on March 20, which had provided that students who enlisted for military or naval service during the spring semester would be given credit for a full semester's work, and that seniors would be allowed to graduate with their class, provided their work when they left was satisfactory. For the students who still remained upon the campus, the College of Engineering organized two battalions for military drill and announced seven courses in military science. Other departments also offered special courses: Dr. Novy in military hygiene and Professor Wilgus, who had taken charge of the military drill of the Law School as a separate unit, in military law ("Faculty in Service"; "University at War," pp. 404-14; "Motor Ambulance Production").

The ill-conceived and greatly belated plan of the Washington administration for the training of officers — the Students' Army Training Corps, S.A.T.C. — had a history which it would be pleasant to overlook. It accomplished nothing toward winning the war, but it entailed sacrifice of life on the campus paralleled only by casualties in the field. Early in Page  2001918 the University was requested by the government to determine what number of men preparing to serve as army mechanics could be cared for at this campus. Dean Mortimer E. Cooley and Professor Henry H. Higbie made an investigation, and by April 15 the University replied that it could provide for two hundred. Demands from Washington were then made that this figure should be enlarged. On May 2 a revised figure of eight hundred men was put in, and with the use of additional temporary barracks seven hundred men were trained under the command of Major Ralph H. Durkee, U. S. Army. Further demands from the War Department brought the reply that in the fall semester of 1918-19 twenty-eight hundred men could be fed and nine hundred housed. Actually, the University was compelled both to feed and to house about thirty-six hundred students, with little time for preparation. With the use of the Michigan Union Building, then under construction, and with the evacuation of a large number of fraternity houses, this was in a fashion accomplished, though under most unsatisfactory conditions which it was impossible to avoid. This work was under the command of Major Ralph H. Durkee, U. S. Army, who in the spring had had charge of the training of mechanics. All University courses were practically disrupted, notwithstanding the fact that the women students had to be cared for in addition to to the large number of men in military training. One of the fundamental ideas of the S.A.T.C. was that the undesirability of war should be duly stressed in the training, and a so-called "war-aims course" was included. As it turned out, this type of course prescribed by the War Department for all S.A.T.C. units proved highly unsatisfactory.

And then, with the men herded closely in the temporary quarters upon the campus, there came the epidemic of influenza which swept the country and was particularly fatal in the crowded cantonments of army men. Such medical men as were still remaining in the city, and volunteer organizations of young women nurses after brief training courses, made a response to the grave situation, but in the brief time when the epidemic was prevalent no less than fifty-seven S.A.T.C. students on the campus perished. Though their friends might have the consolation that they had died in the service of their country, there was no thought that they had aided in winning the war. When a brief month had elapsed, on November 28 following the armistice, the organization was disbanded.

Coincident with the organization of the S.A.T.C., a naval unit — the Students' Naval Training Corps, S.N.T.C. — was set up upon the campus, but was strictly limited to six hundred men. Moreover, it was organized under officers of the Navy Department, Rear Admiral Robert M. Berry, U. S. N., commanding, with Lieutenant A. E. R. Boak (j.g.) Executive Officer. Lieutenant A. H. Porter (j.g.) was also assigned to the unit, and there were six experienced petty officers from the Great Lakes Training Station. Only about one-half of the men of the unit of six hundred were from the University, the others having been sent from other stations in the country. Because of its smaller size, its picked men, the liberal policy of the commanding admiral, and the splendid work of Lieutenant Boak as executive officer, this organization, quite in contrast to the S.A.T.C., achieved a distinct success and was one of the very best units developed in the naval service during the war. It was organized as two battalions, each composed of four companies. The men never went to sea nor into service for the country as an organization, Page  201but they received an excellent training, and because of the wise policy of resting the men after the influenza epidemic, only one died, whereas fifty-seven of the S.A.T.C. made the supreme sacrifice.

Many from the faculties of the University went into administrative and other war services. Prominent among these were Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, who was placed on the Medical Advisory Board of the Council of National Defense; Professors Alfred H. White and Moses Gomberg, both of whom occupied prominent positions in the Ordnance Division of the Army in the Department of Munitions; Professor Peter Field, who occupied an important place at the Sandy Hook Proving Grounds; Professor Alfred H. Lovell, Colonel in an engineer regiment; Dean Henry M. Bates and Professor Jesse S. Reeves, both in the Judge Advocate General's Department.

The body which as an organization reflected greatest credit upon the University in the World War was undoubtedly the University divisions (Seventh and Eighth) of the Michigan Naval Militia. The inception of these units was due to a desire on the part of the Navy Department to make use of University men and train them to become naval officers, and the University of Michigan was selected because of the excellent work of the Michigan Naval Militia. The organization was formed November 14, 1916, on orders from the Navy Department, at a meeting in Room 348, (West) Engineering Building. The Deck Division chose Professor A. E. R. Boak as Lieutenant and Joseph R. Hayden, who was then Instructor in Political Science, as Lieutenant (j.g.). Orange M. McNeil, Instructor in Civil Engineering, was selected as Lieutenant of the Engineer Division, and Instructor Elmer A. Harrington as Lieutenant (j.g.). The divisions were mustered into the service January 10, 1917, with ninety-six men. These two divisions were the first naval militia units to be formed in any college or university of the United States, and they entered upon a most distinguished career in the service of the country. Hayden became senior officer, but Boak, because his naturalization papers from Canada were not complete when the divisions were mustered into the state service on January 10, 1917, was made lieutenant, junior grade. He later played an important role as executive officer in the naval unit formed upon the campus in the fall of 1917. Harold Stacey Hulbert was made medical officer of this unit. As a result of his skillful work all of the 159 men who went to the Great Lakes Training Station were accepted — a remarkable record. Of this number, also, despite the hazards of war, all were alive in 1921 with the exception of Ralph Russell, who died of endocarditis on June 22, 1918, as he was about to embark for France with the United States Naval Batteries.

Especially because of early organization, high intellectual rating, and devotion to their work, the men of these units became so valuable to the Navy Department in connection with the rifle ranges that the organization was for a time broken up for special details under Major W. C. Harllee, who was largely responsible for this important work of the Navy Department, and under whom Lieutenants Jenkins and Harrington were right-hand men.

The service of the units on the western front came late in the war with the organization of the naval railway batteries — fourteen-inch, fifty-caliber naval guns on railway mounts — which played such an important part toward the close of the war. With all available experienced naval officers detailed at the time the batteries were organized, one of the chief Page  202difficulties of Admiral C. P. Plunkett, who was in charge, was to find suitable officers and men. To the question, "Where'll you get your men?" he replied: "Never mind about the men. I'll get the men and they'll be damn good ones, too." To the further question, "Where?" he replied: "From Harllee's Rifle Ranges." "And the officers?" "We'll make 'em."

Ten out of the twenty-two line officers who served with the batteries were former members of the Seventh and Eighth Naval divisions. McNeil was in charge of important construction work on the batteries; Hayden commanded Battery No. 4; and six others from the University units were junior battery officers. In addition, sixteen petty officers of the five batteries were from the University divisions. The last big-gun shot of the war was fired by Lieutenant Hayden's fourteen-inch gun of Battery No. 4 at exactly 11 o'clock of Armistice Day.

Three ambulance units for work with the French army were sent from the campus with some seventy-seven men. Richard N. Hall, who had attended the Literary College in 1911-12, and had afterwards entered Dartmouth College, went to the front with the Dartmouth ambulance unit. On Christmas day, 1915, he was killed on the Alsace front; he was the first American casualty in the World War (Richard N. Hall Post, p. 43). Of the University ambulance units, Section 591 included as thirty-two of its thirty-six members, Michigan men.

If, because of unfavorable early conditions upon the campus, the University's response to the war had at first been sluggish, this was later overcome, and her part became a most impressive one. Without regard to administrative positions, the actual participation in the front service was equivalent to that of an entire division. The statistics carefully compiled by Harley L. Sensemann, Director of the Alumni Catalog Office, show that 12,601 men were in actual service, of which number 4,761, or more than one-third, were officers. Of the 166 faculty men in the service, 85 were officers. The high proportion of officers reflects the merit system of selection, which had never before been applied in our military history. Of the 4,761 officers mentioned above, 3,880 were army officers, 531 naval officers, 317 army aviation officers, and 48 naval-aviation officers.

A classified list has some interest. There were one major general, four brigadier generals, two rear admirals, and one surgeon general. The list of regimental army and navy officers follows. Army: colonels, 31; lieutenant colonels, 98; majors, 366; captains, 973; first lieutenants, 1,209; second lieutenants, 1,097. Navy: commanders, 12; lieutenant commanders, 19; lieutenants (s.g.), 70; lieutenants (j.g.), 109; ensigns, 319. Naval Aviation: lieutenants (s.g.), 4; lieutenants (j.g.), 7; ensigns, 37.

Of the 234 men who died in the service, 97 were officers. There is no record of a desertion or of seriously culpable conduct among the University of Michigan men who were in service. Two of the alumni served in the German army, of whom one was killed in an aeroplane battle, and the other served throughout with distinction.

At the conclusion of the war a post of Veterans of Foreign Wars was established upon the campus, composed largely of those students who had returned to the University.

Page  203

Address of Chairman at General Meeting, Feb. 16, 1917, with a List of Officers and Members. Ann Arbor: Privately printed for National Security League, 1917. 16 pp.
Ann Arbor Times News, Apr. 14, 1916.
Boak, Arthur E. R."The Naval Unit."Michiganensian, 23 (1919): 204-5.
Cooley, Mortimer E."The U. S. S. Yosemite in the War with Spain."Mich. Alum., 5 (1898): 93-100.
Cross, Arthur L."The University of Michigan and the Training of Our Students for the War."Mich. Hist. Mag., 4 (1920): 120-40.
Demmon, Isaac N. (Ed.). MS, "Memorial Roster." Univ. Mich.
Detroit Free Press, Feb. 15, 1916.
"The Faculty in Service."Mich. Alum., 24 (1917): 10-12.
Gleaves, Albert (Ed.). The Life of an American Sailor: Rear Admiral William Hemsley Emory. New York: George H. Doran Co., 1923.
Hayden, Joseph R., , and Robey M. Burley. A History of the University Divisions, Michigan Naval Militia. Ann Arbor: Privately printed, 1921.
Hobbs, William H.Leonard Wood, Administrator, Soldier, and Citizen. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1920.
"The Michigan Ambulance Section in France."Mich. Alum., 25 (1919): 586-91.
Mich. Daily, Nov. 6, 1915, Feb. 21, Mar. 30, Apr. 3, 17, 18, May 4, 1917, Nov. 12, 1919.
"Michigan in the War."Mich. Alum., 5 (1898): 79-93.
"Michigan Men and the Motor Ambulance Production Work."Mich. Alum., 25 (1918): 28-30. ("Motor Ambulance Production.")
"Michigan Prepares for War."Mich. Alum., 23 (1917): 446-49.
Michiganensian, 23 (1919): 36, 39-244.
"Michigan's Record in the Great War."Mich. Alum., 27 (1921): 551-52.
"Military Training in the University Proposed."Mich. Alum., 22 (1915): 147-48.
The Richard N. Hall Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U. S. A. at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Privately published, 1925.
Scoville, Sylvester. "A War Correspondent."Mich. Alum., 5 (1898): 100-104.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Stephenson, Orlando W.Ann Arbor, the First Hundred Years. Ann Arbor: Chamber of Commerce, 1927. Chap. XI.
Stringham, Joseph S. (Comp.). The Story of the U. S. S. "Yosemite" in 1898 … Detroit, 1929.
"The University at War."Mich. Alum., 24 (1918): 405-17.
Vaughan, Victor C."The Santiago Campaign."Mich. Alum., 5 (1899): 176-85.


IN the course of its hundred years of existence in Ann Arbor, from 1837 to 1937, the University of Michigan held five important celebrations which served to symbolize its progress and emphasize its place in the field of American higher education. Three of these celebrations marked quarter-century periods, while another was the celebration of the first twenty-five years of President Angell's administration; a fifth was the inauguration of President Marion LeRoy Burton.

The first celebration, which occurred during the Commencement season in 1887, June 26 to 30, was the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the University. The program, planned by a committee of which President Angell was chairman, continued over the four days of the Commencement period and was concluded Page  204with a commemorative oration by President Angell on Commencement day. Some twenty-four representatives of the leading educational institutions of the country were present as official delegates.

Nine years later, on June 24, 1896, President Angell's twenty-five years of service at the University were celebrated. The exercises, which took place the day before the annual Commencement, were held in University Hall, and consisted of addresses, greetings from other institutions, a commemorative ode written by Professor Charles Mills Gayley, and music especially written for the occasion by Professor Albert A. Stanley. In the afternoon a dinner was served in Waterman Gymnasium. A large number of representatives of other institutions attended, and President Angell spoke, as well as Rowland Hazard of Rhode Island, a lifelong friend of the President's. Other speakers were former Regent George Willard, a member of the Board of Regents which called Angell to the University, Mrs. Madelon Stockwell Turner, the first woman to be admitted to the University, and President William Rainey Harper of the University of Chicago.

On Wednesday, June 26, 1912, a third celebration commemorated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the University. The whole Commencement season was comprised in the general exercises, though the actual program was held on Wednesday morning in a great tent set up in the center of the campus. University Hall was deemed inadequate for the numbers who desired to attend, and Hill Auditorium at that time was still uncompleted. The commemoration address was delivered by the Honorable Lawrence Maxwell ('74, A.M. hon. '93, LL.D. '04), of Cincinnati, formerly United States Solicitor General. Other speakers were Elmer Ellsworth Brown ('89), Chancellor of New York University, and President William O. Thompson of Ohio State University. The formal program was followed by a luncheon over which President Hutchins presided, and at which James B. Angell, President Emeritus, was the first speaker. He was followed by President Andrew D. White of Cornell University, who had been Professor of History in the University from 1857 to 1867, Charles F. Brush ('69e, Sc.D. hon. '12), of Cleveland, the inventor of the arc light, and Dr. Henry Sewall (Sc.D. hon. '12), who had been Professor of Physiology at the University from 1882 to 1889. Eighty-four official delegates, including fifteen college presidents, represented other universities, while congratulatory letters and telegrams were received from all the leading American and European universities.

Dr. Marion LeRoy Burton's inauguration as President of the University on Thursday and Friday, October 14-15, 1920, was made the occasion of a significant educational conference attended by representatives of most of the leading universities of the country. The exercises were opened at an inaugural session over which President Emeritus Harry B. Hutchins presided, and at which President Burton gave his inaugural address. This was followed by discussions of the function of the governing board, by William L. Abbott, Trustee of the University of Illinois, and the functions of the faculty, by Joseph A. Leighton of Ohio State University. A second session dealt with educational readjustments, with Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Law School of Harvard University, and Sir Robert Falconer, President of the University of Toronto, among the speakers. The next day university administrative problems were considered in a morning session at which President Lotus D. Coffman of the University of Minnesota, Dean Frederick J. Woodbridge of Columbia University, and Vernon L. Kellogg, Secretary of the National Research Council, were Page  205speakers. A consideration of constructive measures formed the general topic of the program in an afternoon session, with a banquet in the evening at which President A. Lawrence Lowell of Harvard University, President E. A. Birge of the University of Wisconsin, and President Harry A. Garfield of Williams College responded to toasts. The next morning, Saturday, October 16, a meeting of the regents of state universities was held to discuss such questions as salaries, student fees, and tuition.

The hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the University in Ann Arbor was held over a five-day period beginning June 14, 1937. All but one of the forty speakers on the program and all of the special guests were within the University's alumni lists, and no representatives of other institutions were invited; unlike the other celebrations, it was entirely a family party. The whole program consisted of eleven sessions, including luncheon and dinner discussions, upon the general topic, "A University Between Two Centuries." The two first sessions were devoted to a retrospective view of the University's history, while all the later sessions were occupied by a consideration of the place which higher education in general, and the University of Michigan in particular, might be expected to take in the coming century. It was the various aspects of this topic, as viewed by alumni who had represented the University effectively and constructively in public service, that formed the striking and noteworthy feature of the celebration.

The program was opened on Monday night, June 14, with a great community dinner held in the Intramural Field House, attended by more than fifteen hundred persons. The cordial relationship of the University and the community over the past one hundred years was emphasized in speeches and interludes of pageantry, in one of which the seven presidents of the University were most effectively impersonated (Litzenberg, pp. 581-89). The following morning, in the second session, the University's past and present were reviewed. Other sessions were devoted to various educational topics — the fine arts and higher education; higher education in the world of tomorrow; government, business, and foreign relations; and higher education for leadership. There was a series of round-table discussions on higher education and scientific progress, and panel discussions were held on the relationships between scientific and social progress, higher education and the professions, the University and educational progress, and the University and the enrichment of life, as well as on the topic, the alumni — Michigan's representatives.

Because the celebration was entirely a University of Michigan undertaking in which only the members of the faculty and the alumni participated, it attracted more than six thousand alumni to Ann Arbor for all or part of the five-day program, and reunions were held by ninety-five classes.

The program as a whole was in the charge of a committee composed of members of the faculty, alumni, and citizens of Ann Arbor, under the general chairmanship of Carl G. Brandt, then Assistant Professor of Speech. The chairmen of the various subcommittees formed a central committee which was responsible for the complete program.

Special commemorative volumes of all of these celebrations were issued by the University, giving the programs, the addresses in full, the organization of the committees, and the lists of invited guests.

In addition to these five important University occasions there have been many other significant commemorations during the University's century of existence. Page  206They have marked the laying of cornerstones, the dedication of important University buildings, the end of significant periods in departmental history, and, in some cases, have paid tribute to individual members of the University staff.

Perhaps the first important celebration of this type was the dedication of University Hall, October 8, 1873, when an audience of 3,400, the largest that had ever gathered at that time for a University occasion, listened to an address by President Andrew D. White, of Cornell, a former member of Michigan's faculty. On October 15, 1902, the cornerstone was laid for the new Medical Building on the campus (now the West Medical Building), and the Regents, the medical faculty, and a group of distinguished speakers participated in the program.

Alumni Memorial Hall, the first building contributed to the University by the alumni, was dedicated on May 11, 1910. Among the speakers were President James B. Angell and former Governor Curtis Guild, of Massachusetts, who gave the principal address. A feature of the opening of this building was an exhibition of Oriental and American art from the collections of the late Charles L. Freer, of Detroit. One of the most impressive of University celebrations was the great national dinner held in the Hotel Astor, New York, on February 4, 1911, which was attended by over six hundred alumni including a special trainload of University representatives and alumni from Detroit and Chicago. The dinner honored especially the many Michigan men in Congress and in important government posts. Included among the speakers were Justice William R. Day, of the Supreme Court, Senator George Sutherland, and Chase S. Osborn, former Regent and Governor of Michigan.

Special ceremonies also marked the opening of the new University Library on January 7, 1920, at which Mr. R. R. Bowker, of New York City, editor of the Library Journal, gave the principal address. Three years later the William L. Clements Library of American History was dedicated, on June 15, 1923, with addresses by the donor, the late William L. Clements, and the distinguished historian, John F. Jameson, Director of the Department of Research in the Carnegie Institution.

A three-day program for members of the medical profession signalized the opening of the University Hospital on November 19, 20, and 21, 1925. Among the distinguished speakers on the formal opening program were the late Dr. William J. Mayo, of the Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, and Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, who had been for thirty years Dean of the Medical School. In the same year the completion of the first installment of the gift to the University of the late W. W. Cook, the Lawyers' Club and commons, was dedicated on June 13, when Dean Roscoe Pound, of the Harvard Law School, delivered the principal address. Nearly ten years later, on June 15, 1934, a similar occasion marked the completion of the whole Law Quadrangle, with Dean Pound again one of the principal speakers. Others on the program were Justice Harlan F. Stone, of the Supreme Court, Marvin B. Rosenberry, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the Honorable Newton D. Baker.

Appropriate ceremonies by the alumnae on May 4, 1929, accompanied the completion of the Michigan League Building. On December 4, 1936, the completion of the Burton Tower and the installation of the carillon given by Charles Baird, of Kansas City, were celebrated in special dedicatory exercises at which the donor of the carillon spoke, as well as a representative of the English bell founders.

Page  207Two occasions emphasized the progress of the building for the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The cornerstone was laid with appropriate ceremonies on October 30, 1936, and the building was dedicated on June 17, 1938, at special exercises held in its large auditorium. At the dedication, addresses were delivered by Forest R. Moulton, Secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and by Professor John S. P. Tatlock, of the University of California, formerly a member of the English faculty of the University of Michigan.

The completion of ten years of service on the part of President Alexander G. Ruthven was signalized by a great dinner held in the Intramural Building at Ferry Field, in which 2,500 students, faculty members, and townspeople participated. The program included a pageant presented by the students, emphasizing important elements of the University's program during the ten-year period, as well as speeches by Senator Arthur Vandenberg (read by Mrs. Vandenberg in his absence), Attorney General Frank Murphy, and a concluding address by President Ruthven himself. Appropriate ceremonies marked the dedication of the building for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry, on April 3, 1940, at which the principal speaker was Dr. Emory W. Morris, of the Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek. A feature of the program was the unveiling of a memorial tablet at the south side of the building to the late Willoughby Dayton Miller ('75, Ph.D. hon. '85), a distinguished graduate who had received the appointment as Dean of the College of Dental Surgery just before his death in 1907.

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts will celebrate the completion of its hundredth year of service to the youth of the state and the nation in the autumn of 1941.


Addresses Delivered at the Dedication of the Lawyers' Club of the University of Michigan, June 13, 1925. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1926.
"Celebration Plans Are Approved."Mich. Alum., 43 (1936): 65-66.
Dedicatory Exercises of the Law Quadrangle, the Gift of William Wilson Cook …, 1934. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Law School, 1935.
Educational Problems in College and University. Addresses Delivered at the Educational Conference … Ed. by John L. Brumm. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1921.
"Exercises on Commencement Day."Mich. Alum., 18 (1912): 481-93.
"The Inauguration of President Burton."Mich. Alum., 27 (1920): 85-123.
Isbell, Egbert R."The University of Michigan's 1937 Celebration."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 44 (1937): 1-16.
Litzenberg, Karl. "The Presidents of the University — a Review of Seven Administrations."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 43 (1937): 581-89.
"Many Gifts Honor Ruthven Achievements."Mich. Alum., 46 (1939): 125-26, 130.
A Memorial of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of the University of Michigan … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.
"Michigan Between Two Centuries."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 38, No. 75), No. 22 (1937).
"Michigan — Its Past and Its Future."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 39, No. 50), No. 24 (1938).
"1937 Celebration Is Now Happy History."Mich. Alum., 43 (1937): 465-71.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1873.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1886-1939.
Ruthven, Alexander G."A Decade of University History."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 41, No. 68), No. 31 (1940): 3-8.
A University Between Two Centuries: the Proceedings of the 1937 Celebration of the UniversityPage  208 of Michigan. Ed. by Wilfred B. Shaw. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Press, 1937.
University of Michigan. 1871-1896. The Quarter-centennial Celebration of the Presidency of James Burrill Angell, LL.D., June 24, 1896. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1896.
University of Michigan. 1837-1887. The Semicentennial Celebration … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1888.
"University Plans to Celebrate Its Seventy-fifth Anniversary."Mich. Alum., 18 (1912): 182-83.
"The University's Seventy-fifth Anniversary."Mich. Alum., 18 (1912): 473-80.


THE most serious crisis faced by the University during the administration of President Angell, and probably the most serious during its entire history, was the affair which has come to be known as the Douglas-Rose controversy. At their meeting in October, 1875, the Regents unanimously adopted a resolution requiring the director of the chemical laboratory to render quarterly accounts of all money received for the sale of chemicals to students, and further that duplicate vouchers be presented, "as in all other departments, covering all payments, in accordance with the existing law." In the same month, Professor Silas H. Douglas,* Director of the Chemical Laboratory, reported to President Angell that he had discovered a deficit in the accounts of the laboratory. Investigation by President Angell and Professors Douglas and A. B. Prescott revealed that a considerable amount of laboratory-fee money paid by students had never reached the treasurer of the University. According to the procedure which had been followed in the handling of the laboratory accounts, student fees were paid to Preston B. Rose, Assistant Professor of Physiological Chemistry, who turned them over to Professor Douglas; Douglas, in turn, transferred them to the Regents of the University. The deficit was thus obviously chargeable to Assistant Professor Rose, to Professor Douglas, or to them jointly. For the year 1874-75, the first for which records were examined, the deficit was found to be $831.10.

When Rose was confronted with the findings of this examination, he agreed to pay a portion of the amount of the deficit. In November, 1875, he paid the remainder, $645, having raised the money by placing a mortgage upon his house. When further investigation revealed discrepancies in the laboratory accounts for earlier years, President Angell reported the fact to the executive committee of the Regents. Two members of the committee immediately visited Ann Arbor, called Rose before them, and requested that he furnish the University with security against loss. He accordingly gave a trust deed of his house to the treasurer of the University.

A special investigating committee of three Regents reported on December 21, 1875, a deficit over a period of several years amounting to $4,718.62. This committee further reported that it had at first had full assistance from Rose during its investigations, but that after the news of the deficit had reached the public, he had declined to give further aid. Immediately following the presentation of this report to the Regents, Rose read a statement to the Board describing the bookkeeping Page  209methods used by himself and Professor Douglas with respect to the laboratory accounts, professing innocence of intentional wrongdoing, and demanding a hearing of himself and Professor Douglas "before some court or disinterested body of intelligent and competent men. …" The Regents, however, at this meeting, by a five-to-one vote found Professor Rose responsible for a deficit of $1,681.53, and voted to suspend him from his duties as Assistant Professor until further action of the Board. Before the end of the year 1875-76, many important developments had occurred: two more committee investigations had been made; the delinquency had been reported as totaling $6,984.01, of which $1,174.65 was "apparently in the hands of Douglas"; the latter had claimed that certain lines and initials on the bookkeeping records making him appear chargeable for this amount were forgeries; Rose had been restored to his position and subsequently dismissed; and a motion to dismiss Douglas had been lost by a vote of four to two.

Meanwhile the affair had aroused widespread attention. Professor Douglas had been a member of the faculty since 1844. His influence had been great — one Regent, indeed, in 1878 referred to him as, "the man who for twenty-five years controlled this University" (Defalcation, p. 23). On the other hand, although Rose had reached professorial status only very recently, he had been connected with the chemical laboratory almost continuously since 1861, and among the many students with whom he had come into contact he was generally popular. Despite this factor, however, Professor Douglas' prestige was so great that the difficulty would almost certainly have been settled fairly promptly in his favor, had not certain important influences been brought to bear on the Rose side. Rose came to have an ardent and most energetic and influential champion in the person of Rice A. Beal, editor of the Ann Arbor Courier and an important power in the Republican party. Both Rose and Beal were affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, a denomination which from the outset had evidenced an active interest in University policies and development. Once aroused by the controversy, Beal spared neither money nor energy in defending the party he considered the underdog in the struggle. Of great influence, too, was the sympathetic interest taken in Rose's plight by Dr. Benjamin F. Cocker, a Methodist clergyman who in 1869 had come to the University as Professor of Moral and Mental Philosophy. An able preacher, a respected scholar, and a very popular teacher, Professor Cocker proved an invaluable friend to Rose when he espoused the latter's cause.

Unfortunately for hopes that a quiet settlement of the trouble might be reached, the news of the affair broke in an election year. It was thus not unnatural that with the convening of a new legislature in January, 1877, this body upon whom the University was almost wholly dependent for financial support should, in spite of its absence of authority over the University in other respects, see fit to look into the financial situation in the chemical laboratory. Such action was rendered all the more likely by a ten-page printed statement prepared by Mr. Beal and addressed to the legislature, presenting what the author urged was the unfairness of the proceedings of the President and the Board of Regents in handling the affair. In January a joint committee was appointed from the two houses to "make a thorough and exhaustive investigation" of the "defalcation." On March 27 this committee made a report based on hearings which had occupied a two-month period and testimony which filled a 740-page book. According Page  210to this report, the amount of the defalcation was $5,827.82; of this $497.30 was chargeable to Rose, $4,477.47 to Douglas. In this same month the Regents dismissed Silas H. Douglas from the faculty.

Meanwhile, in the fall of 1876, steps had been taken to settle the matter in the courts, and on July 5, 1877, the trial of a suit in chancery was begun in the Circuit Court for Washtenaw County. The parties were The Regents of the University v. Silas H. Douglas and Preston B. Rose, and Silas H. Douglas v. The Regents of the University of Michigan. All parties had signed a stipulation fixing the laboratory deficit at $5,671.87; it remained for the court simply to fix the relative responsibility of Rose and Douglas. Chief among the counsel representing the Regents was Isaac P. Christiancy, who in 1875, after eighteen years of distinguished service, had resigned from the state Supreme Court to accept the post of United States Senator from Michigan. Both Douglas and Rose also had able counsel.

After a trial which lasted for five weeks, Judge George M. Huntington found Rose liable for $4,624.40, and Douglas liable for the remainder. These findings met with the hearty approval of such newspapers as the Detroit Tribune, the Ann Arbor Register, and the Michigan Argus (published at Ann Arbor). The Detroit Free Press, explaining that it believed that "the great majority" of its readers "throughout the State" would be interested, devoted much space to the decision and recorded its own enthusiastic endorsement. On the other hand, very soon after the decision was announced, handbills were circulated in Ann Arbor announcing:

Public Meeting at the Opera House. — The friends of Dr. Rose, who implicitly believe in his innocence, are requested to meet at the opera house, on Friday evening, September 21, at 7 ½ o'clock to express their feelings and listen to speeches upon the partisan and one-sided decision of Judge Huntington upon the Rose-Douglas case. Rally, one and all! men and women! who have the courage to stand by justice and right.

Many Citizens.

Clearly, any hopes which may have been earlier entertained that a court decision would bring an end to the controversy were ill-founded. The next formal move in the interests of Rose was, however, not taken for several months. In the spring election two new Regents had been chosen. These men came upon the Board at the January, 1878, meeting, and one of them, George Maltz, promptly introduced a resolution calling for the appointment of Preston B. Rose as Assistant Professor of Physiological Chemistry at a salary of $1,500 per year. This resolution was lost by a tie vote.

At the next meeting of the Board, in March, 1878, Regent Maltz introduced a preamble and resolutions asserting that Rose was not a defaulter; resolving that the claim against Rose be "fully remitted and cancelled," saving and reserving, however, all of the University claims against Douglas; and resolving also that Rose be appointed Assistant Professor at a salary of $1,800, commencing April 1. Since one of the "pro-administration Regents" (as the members opposed to Beal and Rose were called) was absent, these resolutions would probably have been adopted had it not been for the withdrawal from the meeting of the other three proadministration men. In the absence of a quorum, the meeting was adjourned until April 10. When, at the adjourned meeting, Regent Maltz offered resolutions calling for the acceptance of one-half interest in the Beal-Steere collection (see Part VIII: Museum of Anthropology) in consideration of the judgment of the court against Beal as bondsman for Rose, and for the restoration of Rose Page  211to his former position with the University, Regent Claudius B. Grant of the other side countered with a substitute resolution that neither Douglas nor Rose ever be appointed to any position in the University, "and that the best interests of the University require that there be no further agitation of the subject."

The forty closely printed pages recording the speeches which followed this latter resolution make very interesting reading, reflecting as they do the roles which sectarianism, class distinction, party politics, Civil War patriotism, personal animosity, and extreme emotionalism played in the course of this bitter episode. As far as its immediate purpose was concerned, however, all of this eloquent oratory availed nothing, for both sets of resolutions, by tie votes, failed of adoption. Nevertheless, the contrast in the basic positions of the two sides is significant: the "pro-administration side," generally satisfied with the court decision, quite naturally argued that if the Rose faction was dissatisfied, it should, as Douglas had done, take the case to the state Supreme Court, rather than appeal from a court decision to regental action; the pro-Rose side, on the other hand, by assuming, in effect, that the courts were so constituted as to render a fair trial for Rose impossible, could with some degree of plausibility urge that such a condition obligated the Regents to take the responsibility for seeing that justice was done Rose.

After the tie votes on the Maltz and the Grant resolutions had been taken, Regent Duffield submitted the following resolution:

Resolved. In view of the very peculiar history and complicated relations of the Rose-Douglas controversy to the Legislature of the State, to the decree in the court of chancery, to a divided Board of Regents, and to the best interests of the University and people of Michigan, that this whole matter be referred in good faith to the next meeting of the Legislature, for such advice to the Regents and such further action in the premises, as they may deem wise and necessary.

(R.P., 1876-81, p. 225.)

This resolution, like its immediate predecessors, was lost by a tie vote. The failure of adoption was no doubt fortunate: it had been sufficiently serious when the legislature in 1877 took the initiative in interfering with University affairs; for the Regents to submit the controversy to the legislature for "advice and further action" would have been to set a precedent for inviting legislative interference.

On another matter of vital concern to the University, the Regents at their June meeting in 1878 were able to reach a decision. The legislature in its 1877 session had resolved:

… That the Board of Regents and the State Board of Education be and they are hereby requested to reduce all salaries of professors, teachers, and employés in the several institutions under their control, as follows: on all salaries over $1,500 to $2,000 inclusive, 10 per cent, and on all salaries over $2,000, 20 per cent.

(H. Journ., 1877, p. 2049.)
The salary scale adopted by the Regents provided for reductions somewhat less drastic, but was nevertheless sufficiently severe to arouse considerable concern. Since the resolution of the legislature included in its scope other educational institutions besides the University, it would be unreasonable to attribute its inception solely to antagonism produced by the Douglas-Rose affair; nevertheless, since the "people's Regents," as the pro-Rose men called themselves, boasted of the great amount of money they were saving the state, there was widespread conviction in Ann Arbor that the connection was very close, and there is at least considerable evidence that the University would have fared better financially Page  212at the hands of the legislature had it not been for the "great defalcation."

At the same meeting the Regents unanimously adopted what appeared to be final disposition of the claim against Rose and Beal. The University agreed to purchase of Rice A. Beal and Joseph B. Steere an undivided half of the "Beal-Steere collection," and in consideration of said purchase to release in full the financial claims against Rose and his sureties. The pro-Rose forces were, however, not yet satisfied. At the February, 1879, meeting of the Regents, the joint committee of the legislature on the University appeared before the Board, and reminding the Regents of "[Dr. Rose's] gallantry on the field of battle, a limb given to his country," and declaring that he was "a crippled patriot, … a quiet, meek and modest man," urged his restoration to a position in the University "suited to his talents and industry." In the absence of two pro-Douglas Regents, a resolution that the Board of Regents "do hereby accede to the request of the Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives and that Preston B. Rose be … appointed Assistant Professor of Physiological Chemistry" was carried by a vote of four to two.

Meanwhile a rehearing of the case of the University against Rose and Douglas, late in 1878, had resulted, in effect, in a confirmation of the earlier decree. The Regents now followed their reinstatement of Rose by deciding, four to two, that since from recent developments it appeared that the decree against Rose had been rendered upon a mistake of fact, nothing was equitably due from Rose, and so much of the decree as related to Rose and his sureties was fully discharged. The "people's Regents" had indeed won a complete victory. How thoroughly the winners enjoyed their triumph is evident from a contemporary newspaper account:

Although the action of the Regents, appointing Dr. Rose to a position in the University, was delayed until 11 o'clock in the evening, very soon thereafter there was a gathering together of the people of the city, and the booming of cannon and the lively strains of music from the Ann Arbor band, in regular Fourth of July style, indicated that it was a universal jubilee. The crowd, led by the band, proceeded to the residence of Dr. Rose, and gave him a serenade to which the Doctor responded in a heartfelt manner; thereupon they formed a line of march to the residence of R. A. Beal, the crowd increasing in numbers every block they went. Music, cheering and joyful acclamations called forth R. A. Beal, A. J. Sawyer, Regents Rynd, Duffield, Climie and Maltz, also Senators Hodge and Moore, and Representatives Sharts and Robison, of the legislative committee, Rev. R. B. Pope and others, who made short and stirring addresses to the large number assembled.

(Ann Arbor Courier , Feb. 7, 1879.)

By the decision in the chancery suit of 1877, Douglas had been charged with $1,047.47 of the deficit. The court at the same time, however, allowed him credit for interest on money advanced for the laboratory, for traveling expenses, and so forth. The amount of this credit was sufficient to overbalance the deficit, and it was ruled that the University in fact owed Douglas $17.46.

The financial outcome of the controversy had thus been far from satisfactory to the University, yet, impressed with the heavy expenditures already incurred, the Regents, in March, 1879, resolved that the Board did not wish to incur the expense of an appeal to the Supreme Court. When Douglas, not satisfied with the lower-court ruling, carried the case on appeal to the state Supreme Court, the Regents, in the interests of economy, declined to employ counsel in the appeal. The wisdom of this Page  213attempt at economy was questioned by many when the Supreme Court, in January, 1881, rendered a decree in favor of Dr. Douglas and against the University, for $2,045.80 and costs taxed at $1,605.94; total, $3,651.74. With the payment of this claim, the controversy which for nearly six years had monopolized an appallingly large proportion of the Regents' time was, as far as the Board was concerned, officially ended.

By no means ended, however, was the deleterious effect of the controversy upon the University and the community. Financially, the University had suffered badly. To be sure, one of the immediate effects of the controversy had been the acquisition of a half interest in the valuable Beal-Steere collection. However, it had been anticipated that this collection would come to the University as a gift; the half-interest was now obtained only through agreement to refrain from collecting the $4,624.40 which the Circuit Court had decreed Rose and Beal must pay the University. For fees to counsel, to accountants, and to handwriting experts, the University had been obliged to spend more than $8,000, and the special investigation by the legislature had cost the state an additional $4,000. The decree of the Supreme Court required the payment of $3,500 to meet the claims of Douglas. How heavy the financial blow entailed by all of this expenditure was, may be appreciated from the fact that during the seventies the total expenditure of the University for library purposes did not exceed $3,000 annually.

However, severe as was the financial cost of the controversy, of far greater significance was the loss in prestige resulting from the bitter factional quarrels within the Board of Regents, the sharp hostility toward the University engendered among members of the state legislature, the violent abuse indulged in by many of the newspapers of the state, the countless charges of bad faith and double-dealing, the sectarian animosities aroused between Methodists and non-Methodists, and the vindictiveness stirred up among groups in the faculty. From the vantage point of sixty-five years one can readily see that much trouble would have been avoided had the matter immediately been taken into the courts; one may conjecture that more decisive administrative handling at the outset would have prevented the development of so serious a crisis. True, in certain important respects the controversy did not, apparently, damage the University's development: for example, enrollment mounted during the half-dozen years while the fight was raging. Yet no one who examines the voluminous records of the struggle, no one who has viewed the enormous publicity which the conflict received, no one who faces the fact that traces of the feud are still visible in Ann Arbor in 1940 can doubt that the University would have been a far stronger institution during the closing years of the nineteenth century had there been no Douglas-Rose controversy.


Angell, James B. Papers, MS and printed. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
The Ann Arbor Courier, 1874-81.
Cutcheon, Byron M. MSS, Papers. Burton Hist. Coll., Detroit Public Library.
The Defalcation of the Chemical Laboratory of the University of Michigan. Speeches Delivered in the Board of Regents April 11, 1878 … Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich. (Defalcation.)
Michigan. Joint Committee, Senate and House ofPage  214 Representatives. Report … on an Alleged Defalcation, and Matters Connected Therewith, in the Laboratory Department of the University … Lansing, Mich.: State of Mich., 1877.
Michigan. Journal of the House of Representatives …, 1877. (H. Journ.)
Michigan. Reports, 1880-81, 45 (1882). (45 Mich.)
Michigan. Washtenaw County Circuit Court. … Argument for Dr. Rose … Ann Arbor, 1877. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Michigan. … Brief on Behalf of the Regents. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Michigan. … Reply of Regents to Brief of Douglas. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1870-81. (R.P.)
Spaulding, Oliver L. MS, "Letter Press Book." Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Walker, Edward C. MSS, Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Winchell, Alexander. MS, "University of Michigan Scrapbook," Vols. III-V. In Alexander Winchell Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.


THE first of the "Laws and Ordinances of the University of Michigania" concerns the procuring of a seal for the new University. It is dated September 12, 1817, and is signed by John Monteith; the original may be seen in the manuscript record-book now in the University Library, and it has been printed in the Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837 (p. 21). The design for the seal is described as "representing six pillars supporting a dome, with the motto 'Epistemia' at their base, and the legend, 'Seal of the University of Michigania,' around the margin, and light shining on the dome from above." This ordinance further provides that until the seal should be procured the president might use any temporary seal which was convenient. In all probability the seal never was actually produced and put in use, for comissions signed by John Monteith in the following year, 1818, are sealed with a plain wafer, and in 1824, after the name of the University had been changed and its government placed in the hands of a board of trustees, the matter was taken up anew.

On October 29, 1824, the president of the Board, Lewis Cass, was made a committee "to cause a seal to be procured for the University with a proper device thereon." On April 30, 1825, the seal was adopted. It is described as "having upon it certain emblematick devices, and these words near the circumference, 'Seal of the University of Michigan.'" James O. Lewis was paid $25 for making this seal. Unfortunately, no impression from it is in the University's collections, although there must have been frequent occasions to use it in connection with the numerous land transactions of the Board of Trustees.

The Regents of the University, created by the act of March 18, 1837, had no specially designed seal until 1843. As early as March 3, 1838, the secretary of the Board was authorized to procure a seal, but on April 16 of the same year it was voted that a "paper seal impressed with a common stamp" be used until a permanent seal should be provided. At the meeting of April 5, 1843, this seal was actually produced by Major Jonathan Kearsley. It is thus described in the minutes of the meeting (R.P., 1837-64, p. 262): "Minerva pointing a youth to the Temple of Wisdom, surrounded with the inscription, 'University of Michigan,' and 'Minerva monstrat iter quaque ostendit se dextra sequamur.'" This was the first Page  215appearance of the so-called Minerva seal, which remained in use, with several recuttings, until 1895.

It has been pointed out that its design is practically identical with that of the frontispiece which regularly appeared in the editions of Noah Webster's Elementary Spelling Book subsequent to 1829. This frontispiece also shows Minerva pointing to a temple that bears the inscriptions "Fame" and "Knowledge" and is placed on a hill. A youth is by her side, and Minerva is represented as a standing rather than a sitting figure. There was no motto, but the name of the engraver, Alexander Anderson, appears. The motto on the seal seems to have been taken by Major Kearsley, who was a competent Latinist, from Vergil's Aeneid ii, 388, the only change being to insert the word "Minerva" before the verb "monstrat." This slight change, however, entirely alters the general tenor of the quotation, for in the Aeneid the subject of the verb is "fortuna salutis." It is part of Aeneas' account of the sack of Troy.

No satisfactory explanation of the likeness between Michigan's seal and the frontispiece of the Elementary Spelling Book has been advanced. It seems more likely, however, that Major Kearsley was attracted to the design and fitted the motto to it than that he first chose the motto and then suggested a design which, by a remarkable coincidence, so closely approximated that in the spelling book.

As first cut, the Minerva seal had a straight line between the motto and the design. At some time between 1863 and 1866 a second die was obtained, in which the line of separation became a double curve and certain other changes of detail were made, although the design as a whole remained the same. The records of the University do not show when this change was made, although on September 12, 1860, a resolution, offered by Regent Donald McIntyre, provided that a committee of three should be appointed to prepare a new seal. Nothing further was said about Regent McIntyre's committee. A third cutting of the seal, however, was made before the Minerva design was finally abandoned. It was very like the second cutting, but some details were altered. There are, for example, seven stars in the border instead of three.

The present design of the University seal dates from 1894-95. At the Regents' meeting of December 14, 1894, President Angell and Professor Calvin Thomas "called attention to the desirability of a new University seal" and the executive committee was requested to secure a new design. This was unanimously adopted at the meeting of October 16, 1895 (R.P., 1891-96, pp. 387, 530). It is the familiar seal now in use, showing the sun behind a shield, on which appears the lamp of knowledge standing upon a book. The motto, "Artes, Scientia, Veritas," is on a ribbon below the shield, and "University of Michigan" fills the upper part of the border. When it was first adopted, the date "1837" was shown in the lower part of the border, but, as the result of the recommendation of the alumni committee on University history and traditions and by resolution of the Regents on May 24, 1929, the year "1817" was substituted.

Besides the great seal of the University, which is in the custody of the secretary of the Board of Regents and is impressed upon diplomas and official documents, from time to time there have been made, for the use of various divisions of the University, seals which are similar to the University seal, but bear the additional words, "Law School," "University Hospital," or whatever the name of the unit may be. The first recorded action sanctioning the use of Page  216seals of this sort was taken by the Regents November 17, 1905, when the Department of Law and the Department of Engineering were permitted to secure seals for official college use.


The Michigan Book. Ann Arbor: Inland Press, 1898.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837. Ed. by Frank E. Robbins. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1935.
Schurtz, Shelby B.Michigan Corrects Its Shield. Detroit: Beta Theta Pi, 1931.
Shoemaker, Edwin C.Noah Webster, Pioneer of Learning. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1936.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)


THE colors of the University of Michigan are officially "maize and azure blue," and were so designated in a formal action of the Regents on March 22, 1912. These colors as emblematic of the University had been accepted, however, at least forty-five years earlier. In the University Chronicle for March 16, 1867, occurs the following note:

Sometime ago at a meeting of the students of the Literary Department, a committee was appointed to select colors for our University. This committee, at a meeting of the students in the College Chapel, February 12 [1867], made the following report: "Your committee, appointed to select emblematic colors for our university, unanimously agree in presenting as their choice, AZURE BLUE AND MAIZE, and recommended that the following resolution be adopted: Resolved, That Azure Blue and Maize be adopted as the emblematic colors of the University of Michigan."

  • M. Jackson '67
  • A. H. Pattengill '68
  • J. E. Jackson Lit '65-'68

This was apparently the first public action regarding the colors of the University.

Previous to this action the University had used a deep blue ribbon to represent the University, as shown on diplomas of Professor Elisha Jones, in 1859 and 1861, and Professor I. N. Demmon, in 1868. Evidently some uncertainty existed as to the exact hues represented by the terms "azure blue and maize," for, despite the University's use of a dark blue, an old dance program preserved in the Douglas family shows a piece of ribbon of a lighter, "sky" blue, color. Moreover, a number of the older graduates, when the question was officially considered in 1912, reported that this lighter shade was at one time regarded as the standard color.

Apparently the shades of both the yellow and the blue tended to become lighter and lighter, as is evidenced by the particolored ribbons used by the University prior to 1912, where the yellow was far from being "maize" and the Page  217pale blue very different from the deep color generally accepted as "azure blue." The azure blue is represented by the clear, intense blue of the unclouded sky, defined further in various dictionaries as the color of lapis lazuli, Prussian blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue. Maize is the color of Indian corn.

The colors in their later and lighter form proved unsatisfactory, particularly when used as decorations, and resulted in an unofficial adoption by the early Athletic Association of a deep blue and a bright yellow for athletic insignia and banners. Thus, Michigan for many years practically had two sets of official colors.

This anomalous situation led to the appointment in 1912 of a committee by the University Senate, composed of Professor Warren P. Lombard, Professor of Physiology, chairman; Professor S. Lawrence Bigelow, Department of Chemistry; Professor H. R. Cross, Department of Fine Arts; Mr. Theodore W. Koch, Librarian of the University; and Professor Emil Lorch, Head of the Department of Architecture, to "determine the exact shades of maize and azure blue which would be suitable for the official colors." This committee reported in favor of the deeper colors and reported their action directly to the Regents, since it was desirable to have the colors definitely fixed so that they could be used at the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the University, held in June, 1912. Samples of the exact hues selected were prepared and placed in the University archives.


"Maize and Azure Blue."Mich. Alum., 18 (1912): 365-67.
MS, "Minutes of the University Senate," Mar. 12, 1912. Univ. Mich.
The University Chronicle, Mar. 16, 1867.


THE Michigan Historical Collections had their beginning in the spring of 1935, when a grant of seven hundred dollars was obtained from the faculty research fund for the purpose of initiating a program of collecting research materials for the study of the history of Michigan. The success of the program's first efforts prompted the Regents, in the late summer of 1935, to establish a research assistantship for the collection, preservation, and study of materials pertaining to the history of the state's most important nongovernmental institution, the University of Michigan. From 1935 to 1937 this particular project in Michigan history was energetically carried on. A standing committee on University archives was set up by the Regents to advise the director of the program. However, because of the close relationship between source materials on Page  218the University and source materials on the history of the state, the desirability of returning to the original broader objective of obtaining materials on the history of the state became increasingly apparent. Accordingly, in February, 1938, the Regents officially designated the collections which had been made, the Michigan Historical Collections of the University of Michigan.

Meanwhile, the steadily expanding collections had been moved from their original quarters in the University Press Building to a room in the William L. Clements Library. In June, 1938, the Michigan Historical Collections were given commodious quarters in the newly opened Rackham Building.

The objective of the Michigan Historical Collections is the collection and preservation of manuscript and printed materials relating to the history of Michigan. In the section devoted to the history of the University are many more or less formal records which have been transferred from various offices and storerooms on the campus. Except for transfers of this sort, donation has been almost solely relied upon as the means of acquisition, yet the rapidity of growth of the collections has been impressive. Chief among the types of materials are the collected papers of individuals who have played a part in state and in University history, the records of various state institutions, including those of the University and its divisions, the collected papers of societies and organizations — patriotic, fraternal, religious, and philanthropic — maps of Michigan and of its various parts, books and pamphlets written about Michigan or by Michigan authors, and early Michigan imprints. Since the growth of the Michigan Historical Collections has been largely due to the generous interest taken in them by alumni and other friends of the University, the prospects for continued growth seem assured.

The Michigan Historical Collections are organized as a separate unit of the University. Professor L. G. Vander Velde of the Department of History has been in charge of the Collections from the beginning, assisted first by one, and more recently by two, research assistants.


Adams, Elizabeth S."The Michigan Historical Collections of the University of Michigan."Univ. Mich. Bur. Alum. Rel., Gen. Bull. (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 41, No. 9), No. 29 (1939): 3-12.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1932-40
Page  219


CONCERN for proper care and preservation of University records was early manifested by the Board of Regents. Eight months after their organization meeting a committee was appointed, in February, 1838, "to examine the Journal of the Secretary with a view to ascertain whether it had been properly kept" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 35). At the following meeting they reported that "all the proceedings of the Board from its first meeting to the present time are correctly and handsomely entered and are highly satisfactory. The files of resolutions and measures of the Board are safely and regularly kept…" It is to be regretted that succeeding custodians have not also safely and regularly kept the files of all resolutions and measures of the Board.

Twenty years elapsed before the problem of keeping records again became a matter for consideration. In the Regents' meeting of March, 1858, the committee on University property in Detroit "presented to the Board the original records of the University of the Territory of Michigan received from the Comptroller of the City of Detroit," and interest was further manifested by the following resolution:

Resolved: That the Librarian be authorized to receive and place in the library the manuscript volume of Field Notes and Observations made by the late Professor Douglas Houghton, State Geologist of Michigan, and to procure a suitable case to enclose the same under lock and key, and that the same shall be subject to examination only by the regents, the President, and the several members of the respective faculties, and such other persons as shall receive written permission from the President; but that the same shall not be removed from the library without the direction of the Board.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 735.)
The provisions taken to safeguard the continued existence and availability of these items foreshadow, in many respects, the standard archival practices of today.

In 1880, the secretary and steward was instructed that all the books, papers, and memoranda connected with his business and duties should be carefully preserved by him as the property of the University, and be delivered to his successor in office (R.P., 1876-81, p. 605). Such actions taken by the Board of Regents during the first fifty years reflect an interest in the problem, but failed to impress effectively the various officials concerned, for at some time during the past century a significant part of the records has been lost or discarded. Many of the valuable materials that still survive were saved only through the thoughtful concern of certain individuals, who exerted considerable effort in the task of collecting them.

Andrew Ten Brook was one of these. He was associated with the University as Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy from 1844 to 1851, and as Librarian from 1864 to 1877, as well as in the year 1850-51. This concern is reflected in his book on American state universities, actually the first history of the University, which drew heavily on the source materials known at the time of its publication, 1875. As Librarian, he undoubtedly made a careful check to learn the whereabouts of printed and manuscript records to document his book.

Another such person was Miss Elizabeth Page  220M. Farrand ('87m), who was Assistant Librarian for fourteen years and author of the second history of the University, published in 1885. She suggested in the Preface (p. v) that former classes "should each have a historian, and that a determined effort should be made to collect reminiscences of college life in Ann Arbor." It is encouraging to report that this suggestion was heeded and that the records gathered by a considerable number of these early classes are at present available.

Burke A. Hinsdale's history, edited by Isaac N. Demmon and published in 1906, exhibits a scholarly use of many printed sources unused by previous writers. Some two hundred pages of biographical sketches by the editor, generously illustrated by photographs, give evidence of his systematic collection of information by sending questionnaires to the living and to relatives of the deceased. In addition, he examined newspaper files, court records, and county files for the needed information.

Wilfred B. Shaw, in the Preface to The University of Michigan (1920), was the first writer on the history of the University to point out the value of the original papers of its earliest officers and graduates and to appeal to interested alumni and friends of the University to make such papers available.

An increasing awareness on the part of many University officials that positive steps were desirable and should be taken to assure the preservation of University records resulted in the creation, in 1935, of a committee on University archives, which, among other responsibilities, was to foster the collection and preservation of materials on University history.

Types of records. — The University's records can be classified roughly into two major divisions, printed records (including pictures) and manuscript materials. Printed records are located in various offices on the campus, in the General Library and departmental libraries, and also in several libraries and repositories outside the University. Manuscript records are usually found in University offices and repositories, occasionally supplemented by materials from public and private collections elsewhere.

Manuscript records, and, to a certain extent, printed records, may be classified as archival or nonarchival in character. Records of the regular University routine or official functions, such as minutes of meetings, official correspondence, petitions, reports, and similar materials, were originally intended to constitute a part of a permanent record. Successive housecleanings by officials later placed in charge of these records has resulted in serious and irreparable loss, particularly among unbound materials. Nonarchival manuscripts often portray much of significance in the development of the University; they include such items as student and faculty correspondence, lecture and class notes, diaries, class albums, and similar memorabilia. Also of this general type are printed items, including newspaper articles and editorials, broadsides, programs, pictures, books, and those items which reflect student and University life and activities not recognized in the more official account.

University depositories. — A large part of the University's manuscript records are still to be found in the keeping of the officers of the divisions, schools, and departments directly concerned with their origin and use. Michigan has been exceedingly fortunate in that its records have not been lost through fire — a calamity suffered by many institutions.

There are three general University depositories where inactive materials relating to the history of the institution are preserved. In the Rare Book Room of the University Library are housed those records which were early entrusted to the Page  221librarian's care. It is a tribute to the University librarians that documents which are known to have been deposited with them are still available. The Library has also assembled the special University of Michigan Collection, composed largely of printed materials such as books, pamphlets, student publications, programs, histories, and similar imprints. This collection forms a special section of the General Library, and access to it may be obtained at the reference desk of the main reading room, where a complete catalogue of its contents is on file.

The University archives, established in 1935, now a section of the Michigan Historical Collections, has been an active agency in collecting manuscript materials relating to University history. It is situated in the Rackham Building (see Part I: Michigan Historical Collections). Archival materials from the Registrar's Office, the office of the Summer Session, and the Department of English, for example, are available in this collection, as is also a check list of materials concerning the University in the Burton Historical Collection of Detroit. As the facilities for the archives are increased to assimilate more materials, it is expected that the records of other University units will be placed there. Unless another repository is named, the manuscript materials mentioned in this article are housed in the archives and the printed materials in the University of Michigan Collection or elsewhere in the General Library.

Basic documents. — Of primary importance among the sources of the history of the University are the legal instruments which gave it birth and title to property and prescribed the powers and duties of its administrators. The act of the territorial legislative council, dated August 26, 1817, which created the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania, is in the Department of State in Lansing, with photostatic copies in the Rare Book Room of the University Library. Other University acts and resolutions passed by the territorial legislature are to be found in Laws of the Territory of Michigan, as well as in contemporary imprints. One of the first pieces of property controlled by the Regents is attested to by a certificate dated 1824, by which the Regents located three sections of land under the treaty grant from the Indians made in 1817. In Ann Arbor the first certificate for University property was delivered to the Regents on March 20, 1839. These documents are to be found in the archives. The secretary of the University has the custody of all deeds, abstracts, and other instruments giving the University title to property. Because of their obvious value, such legal documents have been carefully preserved from the beginning.

The journals and debates of the constitutional conventions of 1835, 1850, 1867 (not adopted), and 1907-8 give organic laws affecting the University and the discussions which produced these fundamental provisions. The journals of the state House of Representatives and Senate and their separate and joint Documents also present basic laws and facts concerning the University.

Records of the Detroit period, 1817-37. — The more significant records concerning the University during its Detroit period, edited by Dr. Frank E. Robbins, were published by the University in 1937 under the title, Records of the University of Michigan, 1817-1837. The original materials of this book are to be found chiefly in the Rare Book Room. The diary of the Reverend John Monteith, the first President (in Detroit), is of special interest because it reflects the actual functioning of the embryonic University. Pertinent passages from his diary are quoted in the Records.… Other Monteith papers have recently been discovered in Ohio and are now deposited Page  222in the Michigan Historical Collections on loan. The Charles C. Trowbridge Papers and scattered papers of Father Gabriel Richard, cofounder of the University, are in the Burton Historical Collection in Detroit.

Administrative records. — The most significant of those materials which may be classed as administrative archives is the "Journal of the Proceedings of the Board of Regents." The two original manuscript volumes (1837-70) are in the Rare Book Room, and complete sets of the printed record — the University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864, and the Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864 to date — are in the Library, the president's office, and the office of the secretary, while broken sets are found in other depositories and offices. Existing petitions, reports, and correspondence directed to the Board constitute only a small fraction of those alluded to in the Proceedings.… Among the most significant of the early records which portray the functioning of the new institution is the manuscript, "Executive Committee Records, 1845-1851," which is in the archives. This item also was edited by Dr. Frank E. Robbins and published by the University in 1937 under the original title.

The Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction … was extensively used each year for more than half a century as one of the most effective means of publishing the aims and progress of the University. A complete file of this series is available.

Official correspondence reflecting the labors of early University presidents is meager. Only a few scattered letters from the pen of President Henry Philip Tappan (1852-63) are extant, and only one letter-press book relating to the administration of President Erastus Otis Haven (1863-69) has come to light. This is a recent gift to the University from President Haven's grandson. Fortunately for the chronicling of University history, much of the correspondence addressed to President James B. Angell was preserved and some of it is now in published form (Vermont to Michigan), although there is little evidence of letters sent. The correspondence files of the more recent presidents, Harry B. Hutchins, Marion LeRoy Burton, and Clarence Cook Little, are under the custody of the secretary of the University. Such correspondence affords a very broad and detailed foundation for the study of University development.

From 1841 until the establishment of the Department of Medicine and Surgery in 1850, the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts constituted the entire University staff, and its minutes, which were begun in the year 1846, are therefore of particular significance. At that time the faculty and its officers were obliged to assume executive duties, as there was no president of the University on the usually accepted basis until after the appointment of President Tappan in 1852. Literary faculty records deposited in the archives cover the years 1846-1908; the current records and those of the intervening period are in the hands of the secretary of the College faculty.

The manuscript "Minutes …" and the memorials of the University Senate, 1880 to date, are in the care of the secretary of the Senate. The University Council records begin with the establishment of that organization in 1929 and continue to the present. Professor Louis A. Hopkins, the secretary of both organizations, has edited the records of these bodies from 1929 to 1936, and they have been published by the University.

The oldest professional school, the Medical School, some time ago deposited in the Rare Book Room its faculty minutes for the period 1850-70. The minutes Page  223from 1878 to 1903 are found in the archives, as are reports of committees, student record lists, the theses written by each graduate from the school from 1851 to 1878, official correspondence for the years 1915-29, and similar materials.

The records of the Law Department, the second professional school, which was established in 1859, are exceedingly meager for the early period, as faculty minutes do not appear until 1891. Four record volumes, 1859-97, include lists of students, titles of lectures given by the professors, and commencement programs. The records of the Webster and Jeffersonian societies (1868-1917 and 1866-1915 respectively) reflect the political and social activities of the law students. These records are to be found in the vault of the Law School office.

The active and inactive records of University units established subsequently are still housed in their respective offices, insofar as these records still exist. The records of one of the older departments in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were burned only a short time ago, before any representative of the archives had an opportunity to examine them. It is an interesting commentary on the preservation of University records that the minutes and files of the Homeopathic Medical College, which functioned from 1875 to 1922, have not as yet been located, despite extensive search in seemingly logical quarters.

Miscellaneous printed official records. — In addition to the Proceedings of the Board of Regents and printed collections of early records there has been a steady stream of publications by the University reflecting its program and procedure. Catalogues are among the most commonly consulted sources for the study of various phases of the University's history. A set of the catalogues of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts is to be found in the Rare Book Room, and a nearly complete set is in the archives. Annual announcements, bulletins, and catalogues of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, the Law Department, and other schools and their subdivisions later established, give much basic information. Complete sets of these have not been located, and because of the irregularity of their issuance it is difficult to determine what would constitute a complete collection. Existing copies are to be found in the University of Michigan Collection and in the archives division of the Michigan Historical Collections. A more complete description of official University publications is given elsewhere (see Part VIII: Official Publications).

President Tappan in 1853 made the first annual President's Report to the Board of Regents. It was included in the Proceedings … and also was separately printed. Copies of the President's Report were regularly forwarded to the state superintendent of public instruction for inclusion in his annual report. At least some of the reports during the presidencies of Henry P. Tappan and Erastus O. Haven appeared as separate pamphlets as well as in the other two publications, and with the report of Acting President Frieze for 1869-70 the practice of issuing a separate pamphlet became customary. Sets of these documents are to be found in the two regular depositories and in several campus offices.

The University and its several units have issued a long series of programs for academic and other student events. The most regular in appearance was the annual Commencement program, of which there is a full set. There is also a large group of unofficial or quasi-official programs, pamphlets, and articles written about the University — specific events, individuals, and its progress and aims. Among such items is an interesting group Page  224of materials dealing with the removal of President Henry Philip Tappan and a still larger group of items relating to the Douglas-Rose controversy. There have been various articles, speeches, recollections, and histories concerning the University, the most significant and comprehensive of which have already been mentioned.

Pictures. — A sketch of the proposed University building, by the architect, Alexander Davis, was submitted to the Regents in December, 1838. This is no doubt the first picture directly relating to the University. A copy is to be found in the archives, together with plans for the building. Many of his sketch-plans for the University are in the Alexander Davis Collection in the Metropolitan Museum, New York City.

In 1855 the Regents commissioned J. F. Cropsey to paint two pictures, a view of the campus and the Detroit Observatory. From these paintings, now in the archives, the engravings in early University catalogues were made. What is probably the first photograph of the University appears in the album of the class of 1849. Subsequent class albums and student publications contain many photographs of individuals and campus scenes. A collection including every type of picture is being made by the archives, and the University of Michigan Collection includes a fine set of class albums. The Department of Fine Arts has compiled a list of the paintings and pictures in University buildings. This list is particularly useful in locating portraits of Regents and other University officials.

Student activity. — Items reflecting student activity and social life are one of the most interesting, yet particularly elusive, types of materials. The tendency of Americans to form and join organizations is well displayed in the activities of the students from the opening years of the University until the present time. Unfortunately, the records of student organizations have largely disappeared, and only chance references in student diaries tell of the important place these groups filled in campus life. The papers of James O. Whittemore ('46) include brief records of three of the earliest University societies: "Record of the Proceedings of the Band of Broken Pipes — 1845," "Record of the College of Natural History in the University of Michigan — 1845," and "Record of the College Temperance Society, 1844-1845." It is sincerely hoped that a continued search for materials such as these will result in the discovery of other student records, the existence of which is now unknown.

The Student Christian Association was active in promoting the social and cultural as well as the religious life of the students. The records have been preserved almost intact from 1860 until its recent merging with the Student Religious Association. Unfortunately, the records of the Student Lecture Association, with the exception of a few early letters, and those of the Oratorical Association are not available in any repository, and their extent and whereabouts are unknown.

Despite the appearance of fraternities on the campus during the first decade of the University's history, few of their early records are available. A most encouraging beginning has been made, however, with the depositing of the inactive records of Beta Theta Pi, one of the first fraternal groups at the University of Michigan. These records are subject to restrictions as to use, but are assured adequate preservation. The records of Phi Delta Theta have also been deposited, and it is hoped that other fraternities and sororities will avail themselves of the opportunity to preserve their inactive records in the University archives.

With the expansion of the University in size and interests, various student customs Page  225and activities have languished and fallen into disuse, or have been replaced by other activities and organizations. Programs, broadsides, and recollections all give evidence of the enthusiasm displayed in hazing and other interclass struggles, in "cap night," in the "Burning of Mechanics," at the completion of the course in physics, and in similar events which the size of the institution now precludes. The mock programs, covertly produced at the time of the Annual Junior Exhibition, became so objectionable in form that the event was finally omitted to halt their appearance. The programs for class activities portray the close association of the student body during the early years.

Most voluminous of undergraduate materials are the literary efforts in magazines, annuals, newspapers, and occasional publications. The earliest known student publication, the Peninsular Phoenix, appeared in 1857-58. Since that time literary, humorous, and pictorial publications representing special interest groups and class, professional, political, fraternal, and independent organizations have appeared in great profusion. A check list of these publications is to be found in the library continuation catalogue. Two student publications of particular value in obtaining University historical source materials are the Chronicle (later, Chronicle-Argonaut), 1867-90, and the U. of M. Daily (now, Michigan Daily), 1890 to date (see also Part IX: Student Newspapers).

Organized sports and a program of physical education have been of major significance in the life of the student body only for a little more than the past half century. An extensive series of scrapbooks has been preserved, covering all phases of the University's athletic program from 1901 to the present. These are to be found in the publicity office, Athletic Administration Building. Newspapers and student publications also reflect this interest in athletics, as do the personal papers of students and alumni. Materials relating to the direction and organization of the athletic program are in the custody of the Board in Control of Physical Education. Collections of programs and similar materials are to be found in the University of Michigan Collection and in the archives.

Alumni. — The Michigan tradition of maintaining effective relations with alumni has resulted in the preservation of much information relative to former students. The Alumni Catalog Office has attempted to gather materials concerning each student. The basis for the individual's folder is information transferred from the Registrar's Office. Also included are miscellaneous correspondence, clippings, and other materials pertaining to the alumnus' life. The Michigan Alumnus (1894 to date) and the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review are also sources of information concerning the University's early days, as well as former Michigan students and their achievements. As the years go by and old class organizations are given up because of diminishing numbers, their records are deposited in the archives, as are the inactive records of the Alumni Association.

Newspapers. — Among the most constant reflectors of University life were the Ann Arbor and Detroit newspapers. Here was recorded much factual information relative to the events of University life, highly interesting material that often never found its way into the more formal University records. In editorials and letters to the editor many issues affecting the University were discussed. The files of Detroit papers are situated in the Detroit Public Library. The University Library has a rather complete file of Ann Arbor newspapers. Particularly important is the Ann Arbor Argus, 1854-79, which was edited by Elihu B. Pond; Page  226and reflected his active interest in the progress of the University. Included in the Junius E. Beal Papers in the archives is the Ann Arbor Courier, 1869-99, edited by Rice A. Beal. A card index of references to the University in the Argus from 1837 to 1879 is available in the archives.

Personal papers. — The personal papers of University Regents, officials, faculty members, and former students are being collected in the University archives. This type of material includes letters describing events at the University and countless references to items which constitute the background for events that occurred within, or otherwise affected, the University. Among the particularly significant Regents' collections are the papers of Frank W. Fletcher, James O. Murfin, Oliver L. Spaulding, Walter H. Sawyer, and Charles I. Walker, as well as a number of smaller collections. The Burton Historical Collection in Detroit contains collections of the papers of Regents Byron M. Cutcheon, George Duffield, and Charles C. Trowbridge, and in the Rare Book Room of the University Library are the Lucius Lyon Papers.

Equally as interesting and valuable as the official correspondence of President Haven and President Angell already mentioned is their private correspondence. That of President Angell is especially extensive, and collections of the private correspondence of President Haven and President Hutchins are also available.

The Alexander Winchell Papers constitute one of the most extensive collections in the archives, for Professor Winchell kept complete files of his voluminous correspondence, a series of diaries, and copies of all reports and lectures which he gave. This collection is a mine of information for one studying the history of the University from 1853 to 1891. Other large and important collections of faculty papers — to give but a few — are those of Thomas M. Cooley, Royal S. Copeland, Albert R. Crittenden, Arthur L. Cross, Alpheus Felch, George Hempl, William J. Hussey, Francis W. Kelsey, Victor Lane, Warren P. Lombard, George W. Patterson, Robert M. Wenley, and Horace L. Wilgus. This section of the archives is expanding rapidly and should serve as an increasingly valuable source for University history.

The papers of former students are diverse and extensive. A fine collection of student diaries and notebooks has been assembled. In some instances these notes constitute the only record of the nature of courses given in early decades. Student letters reflect a candid view of events and personalities. Class albums give pictorially the development of the University. Many former students have remained closely associated with the University and its progress. The Earl D. Babst Collection presents a particularly good example of this continued association with the University through alumni activities. Other available collections of this type include the Ethel Fountain Hussey Papers, the Roy Chapin Papers, and the William Comstock Papers.

Source materials for University history are numerous and diverse in character. Individuals wishing to pursue any phase of the subject should make use of the reference facilities available in the University Library and in the University archives. The task of gathering information for The University of Michigan — an Encyclopedic Survey has resulted in the discovery of neglected and long-forgotten materials, and has served as an impetus for their collection and safekeeping. It is to be hoped that the publication of these historical articles will further stimulate in officials, faculty, alumni, and other friends of the University a new appreciation of the nature and value of University of Michigan source materials.

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The Ann Arbor Courier (title varies), 1869-99. In Junius E. Beal Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
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